A fatal shooting took place in Georgia over a dispute regarding wearing masks in a store.
A man “was arrested after he allegedly shot and killed a cashier at the Big Bear Supermarket in DeKalb County on Monday,” as The Washington Examiner reported.
The man reportedly was arguing with a female cashier “about his face mask” Monday afternoon, according to a statement by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI). The man exited the store without completing his purchase, but then immediately went back into the store.
“[The man] walked directly back to the cashier, pulled out a handgun and shot her,” the statement said. He “then began shooting at a [DeKalb County Sheriff Office] deputy who was attempting to intervene while working off-duty at the supermarket.” The deputy and the shooter “exchanged gunfire, and both were wounded during the shootout.” The man was arrested by two DeKalb County Police Department (DKPD) officers as he tried crawling out the entrance of the store.
The cashier was brought to a hospital where she was pronounced deceased. The shooter was taken to the same hospital and is reportedly “listed in stable condition.” The deputy is also being treated for his injuries and is in stable condition. Another cashier was “grazed by a bullet,” but received treatment for her wound at the scene, per the statement.
The statement confirmed that the police department will be taking arrest warrants for the shooter. “The GBI will continue its independent investigation. Once completed, it will be turned over to the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office for review,” it read.
According to The New York Times, the deputy had a bulletproof vest on, which most likely saved his life, Sheriff Melody M. Maddox of DeKalb County said at a press conference.
Mask-wearing has been a contentious subject across the United States as governors begin to loosen restrictions on coronavirus guidelines. Several other incidents involving arguments over mask-wearing have taken place over the past year as tensions and frustrations over restrictions continued to rise.
A man in Iowa was recently sentenced to 10 years in jail after he was involved in a fight over masks. As reported by Iowa Capital Dispatch, the man was in a store in Des Moines, Iowa, in November and had his mask down so that his nose was showing. A customer allegedly requested that he wear his mask differently, which led to a verbal exchange inside the store. The customer later said the man followed him outside where a fight ensued.
Prior to the sentencing, the convicted man’s father said his son refused the plea deal from the prosecutors because he contended that he committed the act in self-defense, adding that his son suffers from asthma, “and so he’s not going to cover his nose and mouth because he can’t breathe. And there was no mask mandate in place. It was just a request by Vision 4 Less that people wear a mask, and he was.”
“It’s like [the customer] got a black eye in a bar fight, and now my son is getting 10 years in prison,” he said.