Police: Tennessee grocery store shooter used 3 legal guns

Associated Press

Collierville, Tenn. — A man who fatally shot one person and wounded 14 others before killing himself at a Tennessee grocery store last month used three guns purchased legally over the past year-and-a-half, investigators said Thursday.

UK Thang used two pistols and a rifle in the shooting, all purchased from licensed gun dealers, according to a news release from Collierville police. He was carrying extra ammunition and extra loaded magazines when police found him, authorities said.

Thang, 29, was the franchise owner of a sushi counter inside the Kroger store in Collierville, an upscale suburb 30 miles east of Memphis. On the morning of Sept. 23, he was called to the manager's office after a disagreement with an employee, police said. He was asked to leave the store around 7:00 a.m.

In this Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021, file photo, law enforcement personnel work in front of a Kroger grocery store as an investigation goes into the night following a shooting earlier in the day in Collierville, Tenn.

Later, Thang went to the apartment he shared with his brother, police said. Around 12:30 p.m., he told his brother he was going to get something to eat. About an hour later, he called his brother and said it would be the last time they would talk “before ending the call abruptly,” according to police. “He then pulled up to the front of the Kroger, armed himself with three guns from the rear seat of his vehicle, and entered the store where he started shooting at patrons and employees.”

Thang walked through the store, exiting out the back and shooting people who were fleeing. He then returned to the rear receiving area, where he took his own life.

The victims included 10 employees and five customers, police said. One of the customers, Olivia King, died from her injuries. Friends described her as a widowed mother of three grown sons and a devout Catholic who attended Mass nearly every morning, including the day of the shooting.

Police have said they believe Thang acted alone and did not appear to target anyone specifically. The entire shooting was over within minutes as first responders swarmed the scene.