Arkansas shoppers hid in freezer as mass shooting erupted around them

Arkansas shoppers hid in freezer as mass shooting erupted around them

Terrified grocery shoppers at a Fordyce, Arkansas supermarket hid in freezers after gunshots erupted in a mass shooting on Friday, according to a report.

A gunman opened fire just after 11.30am at the Mad Butcher supermarket in Fordyce, killing three and injuring 11 others. The suspected shooter was identified as Travis Posey, 44, who is now in custody.

Katrina Doherty, 39, was shopping with her 18-year-old daughter and four-year-old son when the sound of gunfire ripped though the grocery store. Looking for a safe place to hide, she stuffed herself into a freezer, CNN reported. She had already heard nine or 10 rounds of gunfire by the time she and other shoppers entered the chilly refuge.

“We ran in there really fast. We still heard gunshots keep going off,” Doherty told CNN. “It was like slow motion. My daughter was like ‘Mama, pinch me, this can’t be real.’ And I was like, ‘Baby, it’s real.’”

Although she tried to call 911, Doherty said she had no service. They sustained the cold, remaining in the freezer while in “panic mode.”

Travis Posey is now facing counts of capital murder (Ouachita County Jail)

Her son started crying, she recalled: “My son about froze to death. We tried to get him quiet, but he was saying he wanted his daddy.” Doherty said she “didn’t want the shooter to hear.”

It felt like they were “in there forever,” the mother said, adding that in reality, they were there for about 15 minutes: “I was asking the Lord to protect over everybody. I was just praying. The other lady, she was praying. She was crying.”

The Fordyce supermarket tragedy underscored an alarming reality — mass shootings can happen anywhere.

“This is a small town and we personally know several people that were very nearby when the shooting took place. It’s just such a horrible thing that happened to people simply trying to grocery shop,” Fordyce resident Charise Ellson wrote on Facebook.

Later on Friday, Arkansas State Police announced that Posey would be charged with three counts of capital murder, with additional charges pending. He was booked in Ouachita County Jail at 6.30pm on Friday, booking records show. The motive for the shooting is still unknown.

So far, two of the victims have been identified. Callie Weems, a 23-year-old nurse who had a 10-month-old baby, was fatally shot while shopping, her mother Helen Browning told Fox 16, adding that she had known Posey since he was a child. “I just want to know why Joey Posey woke up this morning and decided he needed to go ruin families lives,” Browning said.

“Fordyce has truly been shaken today by a tragic and senseless act,” Dallas County Medical Center Family nurse practitioner Cory McMahon, posted on Facebook. “Our own Callie Weems, LPN was taken from us and our hearts are broken and lost right now.”

Callie Weems was killed in the Fordyce, Arkansas mass shooting (Facebook)

Shirley Kay Taylor, 63, was also killed in the massacre, her daughter Angela Atchley told THV11. “She was such a GREAT woman, she didn’t deserve this,” Atchley wrote on Facebook.

The conditions of the victims that were injured range from non-life threatening to extremely critical, police said on Friday.

The Independent has emailed the state police for further updates.

A former police officer was right around the corner when he heard rounds of gunfire going off, telling The Independent that he had “never experienced [gunfire] like that.”

The supermarket shooting marks the second mass shooting in the state this month alone, Gun Violence Archive data reveals.