Uk Thang Collierville Kroger gunman was fired on day of shooting at upscale Tennessee location that injured 15, killing one. Shooter was religious man actively involved with church.
A man who opened gunfire on workers and customers at a Tennessee grocery store on Thursday had been an outside vendor let go from his job that morning, police said in a release on Monday.
Uk Thang, 29, killed one person and injured up to fifteen individuals at a Kroger outlet in Collierville, before killing himself.
Four victims remain hospitalized at Regional One in stable but non-critical condition, Collierville Police Department said in a news release.
15 individuals comprising of 10 employees and five customers were injured during the mass shooting. A female was killed after being struck in the chest.
Police declined to say the shooter’s name to avoid giving him notoriety as they identified him by scrawling his name on a notepad at a press briefing, WJHL-TV reported. The gunman had worked in the sushi department.
Argued with fellow co-workers
Police said Thang was a third-party vendor inside the store, but neither investigators nor Kroger have said what vendor hired him.
Thang had moved into Collierville during the summer of 2020, police said in the release. The man’s family hailed from Nashville.
‘He was a third-party vendor working inside Kroger and was asked to leave his job the morning of Thursday, September 23, 2021,’ Major David Townsend wrote in the release. ‘The Police Department is processing evidence to include electronic evidence, as well as the crime scene vehicles, and interviewing other potential witnesses.’
Police declined to say what led to the worker being fired with one worker saying the gunman had to be walked out against his will on the morning of being let go. A report also told of Thang sometimes arguing with fellow co workers.
Relatives told of the gunman being the son of refugees from Myanmar who was actively involved with the church and part of a Christian collective.
Offered the gunman’s cousin, Bawi Thang, via the DailyBeast. ‘He was always involved in church’.
Adding, ‘I always looked up to him.’
‘He was a nice guy’
Told Juanita Ford, who lived one floor above the suspect via the DailyBeast, ‘He stays to himself, he never speaks or anything.’
Adding, ‘He never talked to anybody.’
‘He was a nice guy. I can’t say there was anything suspicious,’ another neighbor told Action News5.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation revealed Thang having no prior criminal record in the state prior to Thursday’s events. Chief Lane said Thang had previously been picked up on some misdemeanor arrests but nothing violent.
Gunfire broke out at about 1:30 p.m., sending people scrambling for cover, with some hiding in freezers to avoid the bullets. Thang reportedly turned the gun on himself in the back of the store minutes after his deadly rampage.
Olivia King died after being shot in the chest, reports said. She was a widow with three adult sons, family said. King a long time resident of Collierville had worked as a financial secretary at a nearby school.
‘The Town of Collierville met with Kroger officials today to discuss next steps involving employee and community support regarding mental well-being to relief funding,’ the release said. ‘The collective group will continue to meet in the coming days to discuss the re-opening process of the store.’
The Town of Collierville met with Kroger leaders Monday to discuss support for employees and the community regarding mental well-being and relief funding. Additional meetings will take place over the coming days to discuss reopening the store which remains closed.
Collierville is described as an upscale suburb 30 miles outside Memphis.
Not immediately clear was how the gunman was able to access his weapon.