SOUTHAVEN, Miss. (WMC) - Tuesday, July 30 is a day Akerie Harvey says she’ll never forget.
It’s the day she risked her life to save herself and others from an active shooter inside Walmart in Southaven, Mississippi. It’s also the day she lost two friends and co-workers.
“I’ve never witnessed anything like this in my life," Harvey said. "I’m from Bermuda and we don’t even have guns in Bermuda so you can tell how in shock I was.”
Harvey has worked at the store for almost three years. She spoke with WMC Action News 5′s Arianna Poindexter over the phone Thursday about that horrific day.
“I saw a customer. She was scared, in shock, not moving, and I heard more gunshots, more gunshots. They were getting closer," she said.
Harvey says she recognized the gunman as a coworker, Martez Abram, who is now charged with murder.
Investigators say Abram was suspended from Walmart in the days before the shooting.
“I told the customers to be quiet, ‘I’m going to open this door and you just follow me’, and the door wouldn’t open at first," Harvey said. "I don’t know why. I just took this fire extinguisher and banged it and banged it open and it got open.”
Harvey credits the company’s active shooter training for her preparation.
“In the sense of a situation like this, I didn’t really panic. I just thought about the active shooter [training] and I reacted with that," she said.
Harvey was taken to Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto and treated for a sprained knee.
While on the road to recovery, she said she can’t help but think about her dear friends, Anthony Brown and Brandon Gales, who lost their lives.
“Anthony Brown, he was a good person, he was mostly dedicated to the customers. He was just a hardworking store manager. BG, he was a real cool, down-to-earth guy. I never knew him to get into it with anybody.”
Walmart employees are holding a vigil for Brown and Gales Friday, Aug. 2 from 7:30 - 8:30 p.m.