Tue. May 28th, 2024

Details in an apparent murder-suicide Wednesday night at a Georgia Walmart have been released, along with the identities of the victim and alleged shooter.

According to the Hiram Police Department, the alleged shooter was an employee at the store and the two had “previously been involved in a relationship, which had ended.”

“It appears the male subject approached the female and there was a brief conversation, which did not appear to be angry or animated,” police said. “The male then pulled a handgun and shot the female and then turned the weapon on himself.”

The woman was identified as 20-year-old Zoey Messenger, and the alleged shooter as 26-year-old James Norton.

Authorities said the shooting happened at the Walmart on Wednesday night at 4166 Jimmy Lee Smith Parkway just before 7:30 p.m.

Officers responded to a call of shots fired, police said, and arrived to “find members of the public fleeing the building.” When the officers entered the store, they “found two people who appeared to have been shot,” locating a handgun.

“Lifesaving measures were initiated by the initial responding officers and continued with medical and fire personnel as they arrived,” a release said. “Due to their critical conditions, both persons were transported to Kennestone Hospital where both succumbed to their injuries.”

Hiram Police Chief Michael Turner said Wednesday night the shooting appeared to be a murder-suicide that happened near the pharmacy section.

“There were other people in the store, but where they were immediate to them it does not appear that there were any other shoppers that were in that area,” Turner said. “We have no eyewitnesses to the event itself.”

Walmart released a statement on the shooting Wednesday night, 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.”

The Hiram Police Department added in a statement that it would “like to extend its deepest condolences to both families.”

“Domestic violence is a senseless crime and should be reported through 911,” the department said. “If not, assistance is always available through the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233.”

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By Buffy Gunner

Independent Journalist + Business Owner | Lover of all things true crime. Mantra: Only YOU can be YOU. | Los Angeles Born | buffygunner@illicitdeeds.com