Gabriel DeWitt Wilson, 31, allegedly walked into a Long Island supermarket he’d just been fired from on Tuesday and shot one of his former bosses dead
An ex-supermarket worker walked back into the shop he’d just been fired from, demanded his old job back – then shot a manager dead when he was refused, it was claimed.
Gabriel DeWitt Wilson, 31, is said to have killed Ray Wishopp, a manager at the Stop & Shop store in West Hempstead, Long Island, on Tuesday hours after his dismissal.
Thomas Moran, whose mom also works as a manager at the store, told NBC: ‘He just came into the store.’
‘He went upstairs, asked for his job back, manager said no and he just pulled out a gun.’
Wishopp was a 49 year-old dad of six, while Wilson worked organizing carts at the front of the store.
Police have yet to confirm a motive for the killing, but a source said it was related to a workplace dispute, according to the New York Post. It is unclear whether Wishopp was the person who fired Wilson, with two others also shot and injured.
Both were taken to hospital, and are recovering from their injuries.
DeWitt Wilson made his first court appearance Wednesday, and was filmed making a perp walk into Nassau County District Courthouse wearing a white hazmat suit.
He denied a charge of second-degree murder, as well as four counts of attempted murder.
District Attorney Jared Rosenblatt told the court how Wilson entered the Stop & Shop in West Hempstead just after 10 a.m. on Tuesday and started talking to some of the employees.
Nearly 40 minutes later, Rosenblatt said, Wilson went back up to the manager’s office on the second floor with a loaded gun.
Wilson was escorted to the Nassau County courthouse on Wednesday from the nearby police headquarters
Wilson, pictured in Nassau County on Tuesday, is charged with second-degree murder and four counts of attempted murder
Wilson barely spoke during Wednesday’s hearing, but denied charges of murder and attempted murder
The shooting began just before 11:30 a.m. inside offices upstairs from the shopping floor.
Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said there were around ‘a couple hundred’ people inside the store at the time of the murder.
The principal at the school two of Wishopp’s children attend sent out a message to residents on Tuesday, informing them that the victim had been a community member.
‘I ask that you keep this family in your thoughts and prayers,’ the message from Valley Stream South High School Principal Maureen Henry read. ‘I will let you know what you can do to support the family in this terrible time.’
Ray Wishropp was the Stop & Shop manager killed in the shooting. He is a father of six.
Wishropp’s cousins, Gordon and Tara Stevenson, have since created an online fundraiser to help the family with any funeral arrangements and costs associated with his funeral.
The other two victims, who are 26 and 50, were also identified as a Stop & Shop personnel.
They were taken to a local hospital, where they were conscious and alert, reportedly assisting the police with its investigation.
By mid-afternoon, police had cordoned off streets around an apartment complex where they believe the suspect had fled to after the shooting.
Wilson was carrying a small handgun as he fled westbound on Hempstead Turnpike after the shooting.
He was taken into custody at around 3:15 p.m., at an apartment building about two miles away from the scene.
The shooting broke out inside the supermarket in the Long Island neighborhood of West Hempstead just before 11.30am on Tuesday morning
Wilson is said to have confronted his bosses about his firing in an upstairs office, then opened fire when they refused to give him his old job back, it is claimed
Dozens of ambulances and police vehicles remain on the scene outside the West Hempstead store on Tuesday. Officers carrying long guns could be seen patrolling in the parking lot
Police told NBC they were waiting for a search warrant for Wilson’s apartment to see if they could find the .380 caliber pistol Wilson allegedly used. It had not been found as of Wednesday, the Long Island Herald reported.
Dozens of ambulances and police vehicles remained on the scene outside the store in the hours that followed.
Officers carrying long guns could be seen patrolling in the parking lot.
Police had urged local residents to remain indoors in the hours before the suspect was taken into custody.
The West Hempstead and other nearby school districts immediately went into lockdown following the shooting.
By Tuesday afternoon, police had cordoned off streets around an apartment complex in West Hempstead where they believed Wilson to be
Wilson, whose West Hempstead apartment is pictured on Tuesday afternoon, is accused of killing Wishopp while hundreds of customers browsed the Stop & Shop
Stop & Shop President Gordon Reid issued a statement in which he said the company was ‘shocked and heartbroken.’
‘Our hearts go out to the families of the victims, our associates, customers and the first responders who have responded heroically to this tragic situation,’ Reid said, adding that the store would be closed until further notice.
Wilson has previously been arrested in his former hometown of Baltimore, M.D. on gun and marijuana possession charges.
In 2006, he was also arrested for assault, the Nassau County police reported.
He has been treated once for mental illness, Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said.
If convicted on the murder and attempted murder trials, Wilson could face 25 years to life in prison.
He was released on bail on Wednesday, and is due back in court on Friday.