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Collierville, a small town in Tennessee, USA, was shaken to the ground when a 29-year-old young man became a rampant mass shooter. Not only did he injure a dozen people, but he also ended up killing a woman.
Police chief Dale Lane even called it the most horrific event in the history of Collierville. Kroger stores, a famous line of supermarkets and departmental stores, were the crime scene and the perpetrator’s office.
This event is famously dubbed. Not only did this event terrorize the entire community, but it also served as a reminder of how evil and gruesome reality can get.
Read on to find out more facts
1. The Deadly Incident
On September 23, 2021, a deadly mass shooting took place in the Kroger Grocery store in Collierville, Tennessee. In this event 14 people were injured, while one was killed when the shooter opened fire at the Kroger grocery store.
The perpetrator of the crime was found to be a 29-year-old man named Uk Thang, who himself was an employee at the said Kroger outlet as a third-party vendor. Thang had only recently shifted from Antioch, Tennessee, to Collierville in 2020. His parents were refugees from Myanmar who were settled in Nashville.
2. The Supposed Trigger
On the morning of the infamous deadly Collierville Kroger shooting, around 7 AM, Uk Thang supposedly had an altercation with another Kroger employee. Following this, he was called to the manager’s office and was asked to leave.
Many believe that this may have been the trigger behind the outrage of the shooter. But Police Chief Dale Lane believes that there might not just be one direct reason for an outburst and that one might know of the shooter’s real motive.
3. 911 Call
A 911 call was received about an active shooter at the Kroger store around 1:30 in the afternoon. Within 4 minutes of the call, the police had already reached the location. Officer Lane told the reporters that a patrol car was already around that store when the 911 call came in.
4. Collierville Police Response
When the officers entered the store, they found many people who had been shot. They went aisle to aisle to check on the store employees. Some were on the ground pretending to be shot to protect themselves.
At the same time, some hid in the freezer or locked offices. One employee was found on the rooftop and was escorted back safely by the police. The mass shooting was over within minutes after police arrived after had received the 911 call.
5. A Victim’s Account
Brignetta Dickerson, a Kroger employee who has worked at the store for 32 years, said that she heard the first gunshot while she was working at the cash counter in the deli. This was only the beginning of the ordeal.
She further recalled the gunman’s started shooting at the employees and customers. She tried to run with her fellow employees but was followed by the gunman. Thang had shot one employee in the head while another customer was in the stomach. On the morning of the shooting, there were 44 employees at the store.
6. Rushed to the Hospital
The 15 victims were transported to nearby hospitals like the Regional One Hospital, methodist Universal, Baptist Memphis, and Saint Francis Hospital Memphis. One victim, Olivia King, died of her fatal wounds.
7. No Criminal History on Thang
According to the investigators, Thang had no prior criminal record or violent criminal history. He only had one minor prior record, which was for parking his car in the handicapped zone.
Further investigation showed that Thang bought three guns from a licensed arms dealer. Which he had used in the infamous Shooting
8. The Last Call
Collierville police department reported that after the fight at the store, Thang returned to the apartment he shared with his brother. He told his brother he was going to get something to eat around 12:30 Pm.
Then around 1:30 PM later that afternoon, Thang called his brother to tell him that it would be the last time that he was speaking to him and cut the call abruptly.
9. Nearby High School Secured by Authorities Amidst Shooting Scare
Located at 240 New Byhalia Road, the Kroger store was close to Collierville High School. As a precaution, the district sent an alert to the parents of the students at the high school about an off-campus active shooting taking place near the school.
The Collierville police managed to secure the school with the help of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and the Memphis Police Department. Agents with the FBI the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives also helped in the investigation.
10. Not the Only Mass Shooting In Kroger-owned Property
Although this wasn’t the only Kroger-owned property to have undergone such an ordeal, back in March 2021, A mass shooting occurred at the Kroger-owned King Soopers Supermarket in Boulder, Colorado. A 21-year-old man had shot ten people and even killed an on-duty police officer.
11. Olivia King
Olivia King, a 70-year-old woman, the only victim of the Collierville Kroger Shooting who had died, was survived by three of her grown sons. Described as loving, caring, and selfless, the entire town of Collierville mourned her death.
12. Kroger Store Response to the Tragedy
Kroger store spokesperson Teresa Dickerson assured that the company would be providing counseling to any of the employees that may need it, and the store was then closed indefinitely in light of the events that had occurred prior.
Along with the supermarket company’s donation, the community of Collierville stepped up to contribute to the funds as well. This fund was provided to the victims of the shootings and also to the family of Olivia King.
13. Reopening of Kroger Grocery Store After Seven Weeks
After seven weeks, the now-remodeled Kroger store opened its doors to the public as a sign of strength and solidarity with the community. More than 100 people, students, and political officials were present to welcome the reopening of the supermarket.
The $4 million remodeling consists of a newly paved parking lot, completely changed exteriors, and 24-hour security at the front doors indefinitely, among many other features. They also planted a Magnolia Tree in the front yard of the store in its Remembrance Garden.
14. Food Donated by The Supermarket On the day of the Shootings
About 48000 lbs of food present inside the Kroger store on the day of the shooting was donated to the Mi-south Food Bank. Along with that, A trailer load of food was also donated to the Central Church for victim counseling.
Thang was found dead in the rear room of the store with a self-inflicted gunshot wound it was told that lane told reporters from NBC news.
The death of five customers event shocked the entire community to the core. But the way the community and the hosts of first responders, paramedics, and the common- people of Collierville stepped up and proved that good shall always prevail over evil.
The community may have been wounded, but they only stood together in solidarity and became stronger more refined, and cautious in the process.
Although the infamous traumatized many, it also stands as a testament to the depths of evil that a person can fall into.