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Police: Grocery store gunman asked for transfer before Long Island shooting

Gabriel Wilson faces charges of second-degree murder and attempted murder. Photo courtesy Nassau Police Department
Gabriel Wilson faces charges of second-degree murder and attempted murder. Photo courtesy Nassau Police Department

April 21 (UPI) -- Police said Wednesday that the suspected gunman in a Long Island grocery store shooting had asked for a transfer to another store shortly before opening fire and killing one.

Nassau County police Detective Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick said the motive for the shooting, which also injured two people at the Stop & Shop in West Hempstead, was unclear. He described the suspect, Gabriel DeWitt Wilson, 31, as "troubled."

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Fitzpatrick, speaking during a news conference, said Wilson spoke to his manager in the second-floor office about being transferred to a store in Hempstead. Police said Wilson wasn't denied his request during the meeting.

"It was not confrontational at that time. He left the building without any violence or anything else being said. Forty minutes later, he returned to the building and you know the rest. He walked right up to the offices, opened fire on five individuals," Fitzpatrick said.

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Nassau County police identified the deceased victim as Ray Wishropp, the 49-year-old manager of the store. A 50-year-old man and a 26-year-old woman also were injured in the shooting.

Police said Wilson left the grocery store after the shooting, sparking a manhunt for his whereabouts. Officers arrested him later Tuesday.

Wilson faces charges of second-degree murder and attempted murder.

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Fitzpatrick said that though Wilson was the one who requested the transfer, he had been disciplined on multiple occasions at the grocery store.

"Gabriel was a troubled employee and in the months previous to this incident he was having unwanted advances toward females that worked there," Fitzpatrick said. "He was having disputes with other workers and threatening them and was brought into the management office several times."

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