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Memorial growing for victims of Publix shooting in Royal Palm Beach

Publix has been disinfected, redesigned following Thursday's tragedy
A memorial outside a Publix store in Royal Palm Beach on June 11, 2021.jpg
Posted at 11:18 AM, Jun 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-12 15:27:25-04

Shoppers returned to a Publix in Royal Palm Beach on Friday to collect their personal belongings, 24 hours after three people, including a one-year-old child, were killed in a shooting inside the store.

The Publix, located in The Crossroads shopping center at 1180 Royal Palm Beach Boulevard, will reopen to the public at 7 a.m. Saturday.

Director of Communications Maria Brous said Publix is working closely with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office on the investigation.

"The tragedy that occurred at our store yesterday for the community, for our Publix family, and for the families of the victims, our hearts and thoughts are with them," Brous said.

WATCH PUBLIX STATEMENT:

Publix spokeswoman gives update on shooting

Once the crime scene investigation was completed at the store on Thursday, Publix workers deep-cleaned and disinfected the store, discarded any products that were impacted, and redesigned the layout of the store.

Brous said she expects to announce an official reopening date and time for the Publix later on Friday.

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"[My friend] described getting a cookie for her granddaughter at the bakery and hearing three shots," said one woman who came to the store on Friday morning to pick up her friend's purse. "Grabbing her granddaughter, then flying out the front door."

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Friend of witness talks about Publix shooting

A memorial for the victims, a 69-year-old grandmother and her one-year-old grandson, is growing outside the store with stuffed animals, balloons, and other mementos.

The victims' names will not be released, authorities said.

A memorial outside a Publix store in Royal Palm Beach on June 11, 2021.jpg
A memorial outside a Publix store in Royal Palm Beach on June 11, 2021.

"I always come here to shop and I have a one-year-old and I feel the pain," said Anay Hernandez, who left a teddy bear at the memorial on Friday. "It's really hard and I always come here and was planning to come here yesterday."

Authorities were called to the store just after 11:30 a.m. Thursday. According to PBSO, when deputies arrived, they found three people dead from gunshot wounds near the produce area.

The sheriff's office said the shooter killed himself less than one minute after shooting the child and his grandmother.

"This is a very fluid investigation," Palm Beach County Sheriff Bradshaw said during a news conference on Friday. "We're following up on every single source, talking to every single person. But right now, we don't find a connection between [Wall] and the family."

Grief counseling has been set up by Florida Blue, along with New Directions Behavioral Health. To connect with a trained professional grief counselor, call 833-848-1762. Help is available to anyone in English and Spanish, 24 hours a day.

In addition, Publix is offering grief counseling to its employees.