'Pandemonium': Stop & Shop employee recalls terrifying moments during shooting

An employee at the Stop & Shop in West Hempstead went to work thinking it was just another ordinary day, not knowing the traumatic ordeal she and everyone in the store would have to endure.

News 12 Staff

Apr 21, 2021, 8:05 PM

Updated 1,183 days ago

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An employee at the Stop & Shop in West Hempstead went to work thinking it was just another ordinary day, not knowing the traumatic ordeal she and everyone in the store would have to endure.
Elizabeth Gottlieb, a front-end supervisor who works at the service desk, says she is still shaken up by the shooting that happened Tuesday.
"It was pandemonium," says Gottlieb. "The customers were all asking, 'What happened? What happened? Can we leave? Can we go?'"
Gabriel DeWitt Wilson is accused of fatally shooting the manager of the grocery department, Ray Wishropp, and injuring two other managers. Wilson, who collected carts at the store, pleaded not guilty to murder and attempted murder charges Wednesday.
Gottlieb says she's still trying to understand why her co-worker walked in with a handgun and shot three managers, killing 49-year-old Wishropp. A 50-year-old man and 26-year-old woman, both managers, are still recovering in the hospital.
"The man who was killed he was so lovely. I feel for his family," says Gottlieb. "I just don't understand what happened. It's scary. I never thought it would happen in our store."
The employees are represented by two unions -- Local 342 and 338. John Durso, president of Local 338, says the union is helping the employees deal with what happened.
Durso says some workers heard the gunshots and some didn't, but overall they were all scared for their lives.
"This horrific situation is not something that anybody's ever mentally or emotionally prepared for, but our members took care of their customers. We are here for them, we brought counselors with us."
Durso also tells News 12 that they have several social workers on hand and are offering counseling services. Counseling will be offered from now through the weekend.
There's no word yet on when the employees will return to work. The store will remain closed until further notice.


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