MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Memphis Police Department confirmed at least 14 victims in a shooting at a Kroger supermarket located at 240 New Byhalia Road in Collierville, Tennessee. One victim was killed. The shooter was also dead by a "self-inflicted gunshot wound," according to police.
Speaking at a press conference at 3:17 p.m. local time, Collierville Police Chief Dale Lane said 12 victims had been transported to local hospitals, some with critical injuries.
The suspected shooter’s vehicle was still in the parking lot, according to police.
"This is the most horrific event to happen in Collierville history," Lane said. "I've been involved in this for 34 years and never seen anything like it," he added.
He said a police SWAT team and other officers went aisle to aisle in the store to find people who sought cover or were in hiding, removing them to safety. He said the shooter was also found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
"We found people hiding in freezers, in locked offices. They were doing what they had been trained to do: run, hide, fight," the chief said.
The identities of the shooter and the victims were not immediately released.
He added investigators are working to sort out what happened and added, "It’s going to take a little bit before we know what happened."
"Let’s get through the investigation," Lane said at the Thursday afternoon news conference.
"Remember, we’re two hours away from the most horrific event that’s occurred in Collierville history."
Kroger issued a statement in the wake of the shooting.
"We are deeply saddened by the incident that occurred at our Kroger store located on New Byhalia Rd. in Collierville, TN – a suburb of Memphis. The entire Kroger family offers our thoughts, prayers and support to the individuals and families of the victims during this difficult time. We are cooperating with local law enforcement, who have secured the store and parking lot. The store will remain closed while the police investigation continues, and we have initiated counseling services for our associates. To protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation, we are referring questions to the Collierville Police Department."
Elsewhere, Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee tweeted that her office was in touch with local authorities and with agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. She added that she was "closely monitoring the situation" and offered prayers for the victims.
The ATF’s Nashville division was on the scene to help with the investigation, according to a tweet from the agency.
A witness interviewed on the scene by FOX 13 said she was inside the store when she heard a shot that she believed came from the Kroger’s deli department. Glenda McDonnell, a Kroger employee, said she "ran out the front door."
"Several people did get shot," McDonnell said. "Some customers and employees, too. I don’t know how many."
The shooting prompted a lockdown of nearby Collierville High School, which was eventually lifted, according to a report from FOX 13 Memphis.
The Associated Press contributed.