COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Words cannot fully express the shock felt in the suburban Tennessee town of Collierville after a gunman opened fire at a Kroger store Thursday.
Collierville police say at least 13 people were shot, most with severe injuries, and two are dead – including the suspected shooter. Police Chief Dale Lane said this is “the most horrific event that has ever occurred in Collierville history.”
Some employees and customers at the grocery store tried to run while others hid after shots rang out around 2:00 p.m. Thursday.
Brignetta Dickerson, who has been an employee at that Kroger location for almost 33 years, said she was working the cash register when the gunfire started.
“We thought it was balloons popping,” she remembered, but when the shots continued they realized it was bullets.
She said her instincts kicked in and she ran with others for the back of the store.
“And, here he comes right behind us and started shooting. And, he kept on shooting, shooting, shooting. He shot one of my co-workers in the head and shot one of my customers in the stomach.”
Amid the chaos she managed to help her co-worker, who is in his 20s. Dickerson described his heartbreaking request: “I want my mother. Call my mother.”
Unfortunately, she was unable to reach his mother but said she’s going to keep trying.
“I left her a voicemail that he was alert and talking,” she said.
Dickerson also described what happened as police swarmed the scene. “Police came to the back and said ‘stay right there do not move.'”
While waiting for further instruction, she said she turned to an elderly customer and asked, “Are you okay?”
Dickerson said she was shaken but responded, “Yeah, I’m fine.”
She continued, “I called her daughter and told her ‘she’s okay. Don’t come right now, wait.'”
In the aftermath of the tragic shooting, Dickerson has this prayer: “That my co-worker that got shot is doing better, and that he’s going to be healed. By the grace of God he was still alert, and by the grace of God I’m still here, and by the grace of God all the people who were with me are still with me.”