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Shootout in New Jersey supermarket leaves 3 dead

world Updated: Sep 01, 2012 00:48 IST

AP
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A US supermarket employee dressed in military clothing opened fire at the closed store early Friday as a dozen or more colleagues worked inside, killing two of them and himself, a prosecutor said.

The 23-year-old man left his shift at a Pathmark store in the US state of New Jersey around 3:30am and returned a half-hour later with a handgun and an AK-47 assault rifle, prosecutor Bruce Kaplan said.

There were 12 to 14 people in the store at the time, Kaplan said. The man fired at least 16 rounds from the rifle at the first workers he saw, killing an 18-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man as other workers hid.

The gunman then killed himself, said Kaplan. He did not release the name of the suspect or the victims; the motive is under investigation.

John Niccollai, president of a foodworkers union that represents some store employees, said Pathmark officials and employees told him the gunman wore military clothing and had just punched out for the night before coming back into the store and opening fire.

Many of the employees escaped gunfire, Niccollai said, when an assistant manager helped many workers get out of the store through the back door.