MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A prosecutor has identified the suspect in a deadly Southaven, Mississippi Walmart shooting as 39-year-old Martez Abram.
Prosecutor John Champion says Abram is facing charges for two counts of murder.
“It’s just a horrendous event that occurred today,” said Champion.
Abram was recently suspended, according to Champion, after an incident involving a knife that he showed another employee.
“He was in the store and had a knife in his belt and showed it to an employee and the employee was concerned and wished to make a report,” said Champion, adding he believes that’s what led to Abram’s suspension.
Champion also says Abram has no prior criminal history.
Police responded to the store around 6:30 a.m. after reports of an active shooter inside. Officers encountered Abram in the parking lot after two employees had already been shot -- one inside and one outside the store. Abram and the officers exchanged fire. One officer was shot but was saved by his bulletproof vest, according to Police Chief Macon Moore.
Abram was shot twice and taken to the hospital where doctors performed surgery.
WMC spoke with Abram’s extended family who say they haven’t spoken with him in years. Abram’s father waited at Regional Medical Center Tuesday.
The victims have since been identified as 40-year-old Anthony Brown and 38-year-old Brandon Gales. Both were managers at the store.
Police are not identifying the officer who was shot at this time.
Hours after the shooting, our cameras captured video of an officer leaving Abram’s Southaven Apartment not far from the store. Neighbors say they knew very little about Abram, who kept to himself.
Southaven police asked the ATF to search Abram’s apartment. One neighbor told us investigators asked her to leave her apartment while they conducted the search.
A spokesperson for Walmart says the company is working with law enforcement on the investigation and offered condolences to the victims’ families.
*Editor’s note: Authorities previously said Martez Abram was a former Walmart employee. He was in fact still employed but suspended at the time of the shooting.