Shooting at Omaha Target Latest Example of In-Store Gun Violence

No team member or customer injuries reported as police confront, kill gunman
Lynn Petrak, Progressive Grocer
Target storefront
A gunman entered a Target store in West Omaha, Neb., and started shooting on Jan. 31.

Another store shooting has rocked a community and a retailer. This time it was in West Omaha, Neb., where a gunman opened fire on Jan. 31 at a Target store before being shot and killed by a responding police officer.

According to local news reports, the man was armed with an AR-15 rifle and several loads of ammunition when he took aim inside the Target location. The shooter was the only casualty.

Shoppers and employees scrambled for the exits or sheltered in place as the situation unfolded. One Target associate told NBC affiliate 9 News, “I was scared that this is how I might die at work,” noting that she hid in a bathroom stall.

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Target issued a response following the incident, expressing its gratitude that everyone was safely evacuated from the store. “The store will remain closed temporarily, during which time we will provide our team members full compensation and access to on-site counseling for those who need it,” read a statement on the company website. “We thank the Omaha Police Department for their fast response and we continue to partner with them on their investigation. We refer additional questions to law enforcement at this time.

This is the latest incident involving a gun at a retail location in the early weeks of 2023. Also on Jan. 31, gunfire at a Dollar Tree in Brockton, Mass., led to one fatality and one serious injury; law enforcement officials attributed the shooting to a former employee. On Jan. 24, three people, including two in-store customers, were killed in a reportedly random shooting at a Circle K store in Yakima, Wash.

In late November, the man who shot and killed 10 people in a May 2022 racially-motivated attack at a Tops Friendly Markets location in Buffalo, N.Y., pleaded guilty to state charges of domestic terrorism, 10 counts of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted murder. This week, New York Governor Kathy Hochul vetoed a proposed bill aimed at updating the state’s antiquated wrongful death statute, leading to an outcry from some family members of the Buffalo shooting victims.

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