OLD BRIDGE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — An ex-marine shot two co-workers before turning the gun on himself inside a New Jersey supermarket Friday morning, authorities said.
The shooting happened around 4 a.m. at the Pathmark supermarket on Route 9 in Old Bridge.
Prosecutors said the gunman is 23-year-old Terence Tyler, an ex-Marine who started working at the store two weeks ago, CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reported.
1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports
Tyler was working a night shift with 12 to 14 other employees when he left the store around 3:30 a.m., Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan said at a news conference.
He came back a short time later armed with an AK-47 and an automatic pistol and opened fire, shooting randomly at his co-workers, Kaplan said. By the time SWAT teams had arrived, Tyler — who reportedly suffered from depression — had taken his own life with a handgun.
“Broken glass in the front of the store, it appears he might have started firing as he was entering the store,” Kaplan said.
While some of the workers were able to hide, two employees, 18-year-old Cristina LoBrutto and 24-year-old Bryan Breen, were shot and killed, Sloan reported.
Both Breen and LoBrutto worked as cashiers at the store, 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reported.
“This was her first overnight shift,” said one of LoBrutto’s friends.
“Her parents never let her out past 12,” said another friend.
Kaplan said he doesn’t believe the victims were specifically targeted.
“I believe everybody in the store was a target. It appears he opened fire on the employees that he observed in the store when he entered the store,” he said.
WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reports
At least 16 shots were fired inside the store. Kaplan said the incident was over before police arrived and that none of the shots were fired by officers.
Police found both weapons and extra ammunition at the scene, Kaplan said.
The store was closed to the public at the time of the shooting.
Tyler lived at an apartment complex about a block away from the Pathmark store, CBS 2’s John Slattery reported.
“How could you not sympathize with something like this happening. It’s horrible,” one woman, who lives in a building across from the supermarket, told WCBS 880’s Levon Putney.
Neighbors who live across from Tyler’s apartment said they saw very little of him.
“I used to see him here and there,” said resident Mudassir Ilyas. “I only talked to him once.”
One young woman, who said she works as a cashier at the supermarket, said Tyler made her feel uncomfortable.
“The way he looked at me, that gave me a bad vibe, so ever since that day I never really stood around him,” she said. “The way someone looks at you, you just get an off feeling.”
WCBS 880’S Levon Putney reports
“He was going through regular struggles like everyone else, but you didn’t expect him to go crazy,” said Tyler’s friend Manase Acheampoag.
The case is being handled by the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.
“We are praying for all of the victims and their families,” the LoBrutto family said in a statement, while also requesting privacy during their grief.
Pathmark issued a statement saying the company was “terribly saddened” by the shooting.
“We express our deepest sympathies to the families of the victims and our appreciation to local law enforcement. Our main concern is the safety of our associates and customers,” the statement said. “We continue to work with local authorities during the investigation.”
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