Authorities say Thang worked in a sushi business at the Kroger store in Collierville, and was the son of refugees from Myanmar who had settled in Nashville, a family friend said Friday.
He died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound within a couple of minutes of police arriving at the Kroger in the upscale suburb outside of Memphis.
The victims included 10 employees and five customers, police said. On Friday, some of the wounded were still in critical condition and fighting for their lives, Collierville Police Chief Dale Lane said at a morning news conference.
The family friend, who didn’t share his name, explained that Thang’s mother and father, who don’t speak English, are confused by the circumstances surrounding the deadly shooting but are also sorry for what happened.
“The situation we have, it’s scary…and very [upsetting],” the family friend said.
The family is working with authorities as best they can. Even still, the friend explained, Thang’s father is hurting. “The son, you know has passed away. So yeah, he’s upset.”
The friend doesn’t know the shooter but said Thang’s father has a request to the community as he tries to come to grips with the situation. “Please, pray for our family.”
In the meantime, the friend said he’s praying for Thang’s soul as well. “I’m sorry for this family, and personally I’m praying for him because I am a believer.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.