Four dead and several injured in Arkansas grocery store shooting

A window riddled with bullet holes at the store in Fordyce
A window riddled with bullet holes at the store in Fordyce - AP

Four people have died and several were injured after a shooting at a grocery store in Arkansas on Friday, police said on Saturday. Cars were riddled with bullet holes and panicked bystanders scrambled for cover during the attack.

The fourth person died on Saturday evening, Arkansas state police said in a statement, listing a total of 14 people as hit by gunfire: “11 civilians, two law enforcement officers and the suspect.”

The dead were identified as Shirley Taylor, 62, Callie Weems, 23, Roy Sturgis, 50, and Ellen Shrum, 81 – “all civilians,” according to the statement.

The wounded ranged in age between 20 and 65, police said. Four were still on hospital, including a woman who was in critical condition.

The wounded agents were identified as Fordyce Police Officer James Johnson, 31, who was released from a hospital on Saturday evening, and Stuttgart Police Officer John Hudson, 24, whose injuries were said to be minor.

Police said the suspect was Travis Eugene Posey, 44, of New Edinburg, and he would be charged with four counts of capital murder.

“He was treated for non-life-threatening injuries after exchanging gunfire with law enforcement” and was then released to police custody and taken to the Ouachita County Detention Centre, police said.

Police have not released a motive. A media briefing to update about the shooting was announced for Sunday afternoon.

The incident occurred on Friday morning in the small town of around 3,200 people, around 70 miles south of Little Rock, the state capital.

Law enforcement officers rushed to the scene and two were injured in the shooting
Law enforcement officers rushed to the scene and two were injured in the shooting - AP

Arkansas State Police did not explain the circumstances of the shooting but said that the wounded police officers were expected to survive.

Injuries of civilians ranged from non-life-threatening to extremely critical, he said.

Videos posted on social media showed at least one person lying in the car park. Another captured multiple gunshots ringing out.

Images from reporters on the scene showed a slew of bullet holes in the grocery store’s window.

The injured officers are expected to survive
The injured officers are expected to survive - AP

In video footage, local and state agencies could be seen responding to the scene, with at least one medical helicopter landing nearby.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the Arkansas governor, issued a statement later on Friday.

“I am thankful to law enforcement and first responders for their quick and heroic action to save lives,” she said.

“My prayers are with the victims and all those impacted by this horrific incident.”

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the Arkansas governor, offered prayers to the victims
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the Arkansas governor, offered prayers to the victims - REUTERS

The incident comes a week after Joe Biden, the US president, acknowledged he had not met many of his pledges on gun safety.

“More children are killed in America by guns than cancer and car accidents combined,” he said at the annual training conference for Everytown for Gun Safety.

He called for an outright ban on civilian ownership of assault rifles, which have been used in some mass shooting incidents.

The issue is a well-established dividing line between Democrat and Republican candidates at presidential elections.

Mr Biden has criticised his Republican rival, Donald Trump, for addressing a conference of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and taking a conservative stance on the current rules.