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New Jersey Shopping Plaza Shootout Leaves Three Dead

National

0  Updated at 8:03 am, August 31st, 2012 By: ABC Digital

ABC News(OLD BRIDGE, N.J.) — The man suspected of killing two people early Friday morning at an Old Bridge, N.J., grocery store before shooting himself to death is a 23-year-old former Marine who worked at the grocery store for two weeks, according to the town’s mayor.

The suspect left the Old Bridge shopping plaza at about 4 a.m. and returned to a Pathmark grocery store — having changed into camouflage clothing — armed with an AK-47 and an automatic handgun, Mayor Owen Henry said on Friday.

Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan said the victims were “not specifically targeted; everyone in the store was a target.”

Both victims, a man and a woman, were young adults, Henry said, adding that the woman is believed to be 18.

Kaplan said a total of 16 shots were fired.  The suspect shot himself after shooting the two young adults, Henry said.

Police had responded to shots inside the Pathmark on Route 9 at 4 a.m.  The alleged gunman was dead when police arrived, Kaplan said.

Two windows near the entrance to the Pathmark were shot out.  The suspect might have started firing as he entered the store, accounting for the store’s blown-out windows, Kaplan said.

The gunman’s motive is still under investigation, Henry said, adding that law enforcement is in the process of notifying the families of the dead.

“This is the worst phone call a mayor can receive,” Henry had told NewJersey.com earlier Friday morning of the information he obtained at about 6:30 a.m.  “You can prepare for these things, but you can’t prevent them.”

Several employees were inside the store, which was preparing to open at 6 a.m.  The other employees who were in the store at the time of the shooting were not injured, Owen said.  

Numerous employees were taken across the street to a T.G.I. Friday’s and many were treated for trauma at waiting ambulances.

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