Supermarket shooting suspect charged with 2nd degree murder

Gabriel Dewitt Wilson, 31, who authorities say has a history of mental illness and a violent past is charged with murder and attempted murder.

Video Transcript

- The latest on the deadly shooting at a supermarket on Long Island and we are learning new information. The suspect, Gabriel DeWitt Wilson, appeared before a judge today. Police describe him as a troubled employee of the Stop & Shop.

But yesterday police say he turned violent, walking into the store's second floor offices and opening fire on co-workers. One person was killed, who is now identified as 49-year-old Ray Wishropp, a father of seven, his family now speaking out and sharing their heartbreak over his death. Eyewitness News reporter NJ Burkett live in Mineola with more, NJ.

NJ BURKETT: And right Dave, they are heartbroken. You know more than 24 hours after the shooting we're learning about how it happened. What we still don't know is why it happened. Yes, the suspect is described as a volatile man, but the motive for all of this, if there is a motive, remains a mystery.

Police say 31-year-old Gabriel Wilson has a troubled violent past and a history of psychiatric episodes, yet his co-workers say he gave no hint of what was to come before he burst into a second floor office at the West Hempstead Stop & Shop and began shooting. County Police homicide commander Stephen Fitzpatrick says Wilson had met with store managers less than an hour earlier.

STEPHEN FITZPATRICK: He originally went into that managing office and spoke to the 50-year-old manager about transferring to Hempstead Stop & Shop. It was nonconfrontational at that time. It lasted approximately one to two minutes, that conversation. He left the building without any violence or anything else being said. 40 minutes later he returned to the building, and you know the rest.

NJ BURKETT: Two workers would be wounded, the bullets narrowly missed two others, but the store manager Ray Wishropp would be killed. Shoppers and workers ran for their lives as the sound of gunfire set off pandemonium inside the store. Store associate Elizabeth Gottlieb was one of them.

ELIZABETH GOTTLIEB: It sounded like gunshots. Everyone was looking around like, what is that? And I heard a scream. I heard a woman scream.

NJ BURKETT: Detectives say Wilson was on the run for four hours and was arrested after his photo was flashed across TV and social media, leading to an avalanche of tips.

MADELINE SINGAS: Once convicted of the top count, he will face incarceration of 25 years to life in prison.

NJ BURKETT: Police say Wilson suffered two unspecified psychiatric episodes in recent years, and has an arrest record that includes weapons possession and attempted murder. He had been working at the store collecting shopping carts. The store manager was remembered today as a thoughtful man and a loving father.

ALEX BERNARD: Ray's job and that guy's job never intertwined. They had no reason to have an issue, but he just decided to take an innocent life, father of seven and a grandfather of one, and tons of cousins and loved ones. We love him so much. I'm sorry, guys. I can't speak any more.

NJ BURKETT: Yeah and you heard that right, Wishropp was the father of seven children. Now police say the suspect, Gabriel Wilson, was the subject of sexual harassment complaints here at the store in the past. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment today and is being ordered held without bail. [INAUDIBLE]