Two Dead in Tragic Incident at Hiram, Georgia Walmart, Police Confirm Not an Active Shooter Situation

Two Dead in Tragic Incident at Hiram, Georgia Walmart, Police Confirm Not an Active Shooter Situation

A tragic incident occurred at the Hiram Walmart on Wednesday afternoon, resulting in two deaths. The victims have been identified as James Wyatt Norton, 26, and Zoey Nicole Messenger, 20, both residents of Hiram, Georgia. The event took place at approximately 7:30 p.m. at the Walmart Super Center located at 4166 Jimmy Lee Smith Parkway.

Preliminary investigations by Hiram Police suggest that this was not an active shooter situation but a tragic encounter between two acquaintances. “This was a known-to-known shooting event where both parties knew each other. There was some kind of former relationship,” stated Hiram Police Chief Mike Turner. When officers arrived at the scene, both Norton and Messenger were found suffering from gunshot wounds.

Due to the extent of their injuries, both victims were rushed to Wellstar Kennestone Hospital, where they were pronounced dead upon arrival. Chief Turner expressed empathy for witnesses and shoppers who were present during the incident. “You can imagine the fear that had to be instilled by this type of event,” he noted.

Witnesses reported hearing gunshots and were instructed to evacuate the store immediately. Devani Lopez, a witness, described the chaotic scene: “As soon as I heard the second shot, I ran straight for the exit…I could see everyone running for their lives. Everyone was just so panicked and scared.”

Walmart released a statement late Wednesday, saying, “We’re heartbroken by what happened at our Hiram store tonight. Our priority, right now, is the safety of our associates and customers. The store will remain closed while we work with law enforcement during their investigation.”

According to Chief Turner, the incident was unprecedented for the city. He characterized it as opportunistic, occurring where the two individuals happened to meet. “We have no control over that. An officer on the other side of Walmart could not have prevented this,” he said.

Chris Morris
Author: Chris Morris

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