Gunman nabbed for Long Island supermarket shooting that left one dead

Law enforcement officers stand near the place where the shooter barricaded himself, after a shooting at a Stop and Shop grocery store, in Hempstead
Law enforcement officers stand near the place where the shooter barricaded himself, after a shooting at a Stop and Shop grocery store, in Hempstead, New York, U.S., April 20, 2021. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

The gunman accused of shooting one man dead and wounding two others at a Long Island supermarket on Tuesday morning has been apprehended, police said.

After a few hours of searching for the gunman, at about 3:10 p.m., County Executive Laura Curran said that police officers took Gabriel DeWitt Wilson into custody at 100 Terrace Ave. in Hempstead. Charges against him are pending.

The shooting happened just before noon at the Stop and Shop supermarket on Cherry Valley Road in West Hempstead.

Police say that a man shot the three victims in an upstairs managers’ office. The person who died is a store employee.

Two other shooting victims are currently undergoing treatment at a local hospital.

“The investigation is ongoing,” said Pat Ryder, commissioner of Nassau County Police Department. “We don’t know the reason for the shooting.”

Ryder said the suspect fled the scene westbound on Hempstead Turnpike with a handgun. He added that the suspect worked at the Stop & Shop at one time. There were about 200 shoppers in the store at the time of the shooting, Ryder said.

Witnesses interviewed on local media reported hearing at least six shots. Some witnesses reported to news crews that the suspect may have jumped onto a bus to escape, but police could not confirm that account.

Nassau County Police guard the exterior of the Stop & Shop supermarket in West Hempstead following the shooting on April 20, 2021.Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

According to reports, a large contingent of police officers were in the area of Terrace Avenue and Jackson Street in Hempstead at about 2 p.m. in search of the gunman.

Following his arrest at the scene, a family member with Wilson at the time yelled and attempted to shove photographers documenting his arrest.

A family member yells at photographers documenting the arrest of the West Hempstead shooting suspect.Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

The search for the gunman prompted a widespread lockdown of the area, impacting a number of school districts: West Hempstead, Malverne, Mineola, Valley Stream North, Hicksville, Lynbrook, Sewanhaka, Sacred Heart Academy, Chaminade High School, Long Beach, Garden City, New Hyde Park, and Adelphi University.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement Tuesday that he directed the New York State Police to assist in the search, adding that “my team and I are in constant contact with first responders on the ground. I’m praying for the victims, and my heart breaks for their families and loved ones.”

Gordon Reid, president of Stop & Shop, expressed heartbreak over the shooting, and said the store will remain closed until further notice.

“Our hearts go out to the families of the victims, our associates, customers and the first responders who have responded heroically to this tragic situation,” Reid said. “At this time, we are cooperating fully with local law enforcement on the investigation.” 

Local 338 of the RWDSU/UFCW, the union which represents workers at the Stop & Shop location, said it is monitoring the situation, and that union representatives are at the location offering assistance to workers.

With Reuters reporting

This is a developing story; check with amNY.com later for further updates.