UK Thang was identified as the gunman in the Kroger shooting in Collierville, Tenn. Thursday that killed one and injured 14 others. According to authorities, the shooter was a third-party vendor for Kroger. He died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

While police are “getting a clearer picture of what occurred,” authorities still haven’t identified a motive in the Tennessee shooting. The 29-year-old shooter was found dead at the back of the store when officers responded to the terrifying scene. It was unclear what kind of third-party vendor UK Thang was.

Police Chief Dale Lane said Friday morning that “thankfully, our prayers were answered: We didn’t lose anybody overnight.” The chief claimed that while there are “still some people battling,” none passed in the hospital after the incident occurred. However, he asked for the public to “continue to pray for them, as well.”

Why did UK Thang open fire inside a Collierville supermarket? Authorities still searching for motive in deadly Kroger shooting.
Why did UK Thang open fire inside a Collierville supermarket? Authorities still searching for a motive in the deadly Kroger shooting. Photo Credit: Jonathan Weiss /

According to the police, 15 people were shot in total during the Kroger shooting. Ten of which were Kroger employees and five were customers.

Olivia King was named Friday as the woman who died during the supermarket shooting. King was “just sweet,” according to her longtime friend David Fraser. King’s other friend, Maureen Fraser, explained that King was a resident of the Collierville area and was “kind, police, [and] thoughtful.”

The couple told reporters that they knew Olivia King for years and that she was from San Antonio. King was reportedly widowed with three sons. The Frasers claimed one son was in the Navy, one was in the Air Force, and the third had just earned his doctorate. They also said that King attended Catholic Mass nearly every day and had once worked as a financial secretary at a local school.

Police confirmed that UK Thang acted alone, though Chief Lane refused to name the gunman during his media briefing on Friday. Police identified the suspect at a later time. He didn’t “want to give him notoriety,” the chief claimed. Thang had previous “minor charges,” on his criminal record, though Lane did not specify what those charges were.

Juanita Ford, a 66-year-old woman who lived one floor above UK Thang, explained to reporters that “he [stayed] to himself” and never spoke, “or anything.” Ford was asked to evacuate her apartment when officers arrived to investigate the residential complex on Thursday. Police searched Thang’s apartment, though it wasn’t clear by Friday afternoon what they found.

Ford told reporters that “I passed him going to my car leaving for work and stuff like that, I only saw him in passing, he never talked to anybody.” Other people close to UK Thang have opened up about the suspected gunman. According to the shooter’s cousin, Pang Cing, Thang’s parents called him on Friday morning to share the devastating news.

According to Cing, he hadn’t seen his cousin for 10 years and had no idea what could have motivated the shooting. He didn’t even realize his cousin was involved in the Kroger shooting until Thang’s parents told him on Friday morning.

The supermarket shooting occurred around 1:30 p.m. SWAT teams arrived and went “aisle to aisle” and “room to room” helping people escape. According to Chief Lane, the Kroger shooting was the “most horrific event that has occurred in Collierville history.”

Brignetta Dickerson, who has been a Kroger employee for over 32 years, explained to reported that UK Thang “started popping that gun” and so she played dead by the cash register until the shooting was over.  

She continued, saying that “he kept on shooting, shooting, shooting. He shot one of my coworkers in the head and then shot one of the customers in the stomach, and then my other customers got kinda like cuts from the asphalt.”

Despite the traumatizing incident, Dickerson claimed she wouldn’t let it change her life. “This right here is not going to stop me from working. I’m going to work on.”