ROYAL PALM BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) – A woman and her 23-month-old grandson were fatally gunned down inside a Publix in Royal Palm Beach by a man who then turned the gun on himself, authorities said.
Deputies responded to the shooting at the supermarket located along the 1100 block of Royal Palm Beach Boulevard, Thursday morning. Investigators identified the shooter as 55-year-old Timothy J. Wall of Royal Palm Beach hours later.
“At 11:40, deputies responded to the shooting here at the Publix,” said Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Teri Barbera.
Upon arrival, first responders located the gunman and victims in the produce section. They were pronounced dead.
“It’s awful. This is such a terrible thing to have happened,” said witness Jerry Galavage.
Shopper Juan Guardia said he was picking up chicken in the deli aisle when he heard gunfire.
“I hear one shot in that moment, and I run,” he said.
Guardia said he left through the back of the store with employees.
“I seen a lot of police cars racing in, ambulances, and I seen everybody rushing inside the Publix, so I thought something was going on,” said witness David Wilson.
Deputies quickly put up crime scene tape and secured the area. The parking lot was cordoned off for hours.
“One of the deputies was telling me three people dead inside the building. One was a child, which kind of hurt me because I have a 4-month-old child,” said Wilson, “and then he said that apparently, possibly the suspect took his life after killing two people.”
7News cameras also captured a car and a Nissan SUV parked together, surrounded by red tape indicating potential evidence.
Investigators focused for a time on a red scooter. A K-9 unit was brought in to search for other clues.
“This is a shocking thing that’s happened,” said Galavage. “It’s one man and his grudge against his wife? I don’t know if he had a grudge against his child, too, but that’s sickening.”
Now, authorities are looking to determine a motive.
“The medical examiner’s office will examine the individuals that are deceased, and then we’ll be able to identify them,” said Barbera. “From there, we have to make the proper identification. We have three individuals deceased right now, and we don’t have the next of kin notified, so please understand that this is a long process.”
Investigators said the toddler was shot in the head. He would have turned 2 years old at the end of June.
The scooter and the SUV were later towed from the scene.
Detectives have not specified what the relationship between the victims and the gunman was. They are examining surveillance video from inside and outside the supermarket, as they continue to investigate.
Officials said shoppers who left personal belongings inside the Publix will be allowed to retrieve them on Friday, but the store will remain closed until Saturday.
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