Southaven Walmart closed for cleanup after shooting

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SOUTHAVEN, Miss. — Cleanup was going on Wednesday at a Southaven Walmart that was the scene of a chaotic shooting that killed two and wounded an officer and the alleged gunman.

A bouquet of flowers marked a makeshift memorial outside the store Wednesday, while a sign told customers the store would be closed until further notice. Several vehicles that were left on Walmart’s lot were towed away, and delivery trucks were turned away.

A spokesperson for Walmart said they could not give an exact date when the store would reopen, and said there is an extensive clean-up going on after a fire was set inside and part of the sprinkler systems went off.

Pharmacy customers can call the Walmart in Horn Lake for now at 662-253-6181.

The store is in the process of creating shifts for cleanup and recovery, and to reopen. Employees can pick up shifts at nearby stores, the spokesman said, or they can take paid time off.

The store has counseling for employees and a compensation program if they’re missing work for reasons out of their control.

Two Walmart employees were killed during the shooting Tuesday. The DeSoto County coroner identified them as Brandon Gales, 38, of Hernando and Anthony Brown, 40, of Olive Branch.

A Southaven Police officer was also hit but was protected by his bullet-proof vest. He was released from the hospital Wednesday afternoon, Southaven Police Chief Mark Little said.

“The employees, they’re all like family, so yeah I’m sure, there’s no way they could’ve come back to work today,” said Ken Salmon, a frozen food vendor who was in the area at the time of the shooting. “I’ve been coming here 17 years and a lot of these guys have been here longer than that. A lot of the employees. So, they’re tight.”

He described Brandon Gales as “just super nice” and said of manager Anthony Brown, “nothing but kind words out of his mouth.”

The suspect was identified as Martez Abram, 39, a former employee at the Walmart. He is charged with two counts of murder, and more charges may follow when he is released from a hospital in Memphis, according to DeSoto County District Attorney John Champion.

A member of Abrams’ family said they are grieving for the families, too, and had no further comment.

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