A 20-year-old Georgia woman was fatally shot at a Walmart on Wednesday by her ex-boyfriend, who then shot himself, police said.
Zoey Nicole Messenger was taken to the hospital in critical condition along with James Wyatt Nicholas Norton, 26, after the shooting at the Walmart where he worked, the Hiram Police Department said in a statement opinion. They both died from their gunshot wounds.
According to police, Norton approached Messenger for a brief conversation that “did not appear to be angry or animated” before he produced a handgun to shoot her. It’s not clear if he was working at the time of the shooting.
Police said they responded to a report that shots had been fired at the store around 7:22 p.m., and when officers arrived, people were running from the building.
Devani Lopez, who was in the store at the time, told Atlanta Station WAGA TV that he immediately ran to the exit when he heard the second shot.
“I ran straight toward the car,” Lopez said. “I could imagine everyone running for their lives. Everyone was just so panicked and scared.”
According to Messenger’s social media pages, she had been dating Norton since 2022. However, in a Facebook post last week, she announced that she had entered into a new relationship.
On Facebook, friends and family shared their shock at the shooting and remembered Messenger as funny and loving.
In a statement to HuffPost, a Walmart spokesperson confirmed that Norton was an employee, adding that the company was doing everything it could to support employees, including providing on-site counseling services.
“We are grateful to local first responders and will continue to cooperate with law enforcement during their investigation.”