A panicked Publix employee described to 911 dispatchers the tragedy he had just witnessed: a man gunning down a toddler and his grandmother.
Several people in and around the Publix at 1180 Royal Palm Blvd. called 911 to warn of a shooter, but few had information about whether anyone was shot or injured, according to recordings released Friday.
Some of them heard what they thought were gunshots; others saw people running out of the store who told them there was a shooter.
One caller thought the shots came from Aisle 13. Another pointed authorities toward the produce section.
A Publix employee was audibly out of breath as he described what he had seen in vivid detail, right down to the description of the shooter and his outfit.
“He was wearing all black. He had sunglasses and a black hat,” he said. “He shot a child.”
The dispatcher asked whether the shooter was still in the store and if the child was still on the floor.
“The child’s dead. He shot it in the head,” the caller replied.
“He shot a child in the head?” the dispatcher asked in disbelief. She asked whether it appeared to be his own child or someone else’s.
“I think it was someone else’s child,” the employee said. “He just walked up and shot it.”
The caller described how the child couldn’t have been older than 3 or 4.
Like other callers, he warned passersby of the calamity inside the store and steered them away.