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Kroger gunman asked to leave job morning of shooting, police say

Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 4:02 PM CDT

COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. (WMC) - The investigation into the mass shooting last Thursday at a Kroger grocery store in Collierville continues with police releasing new information Monday about the shooter.

Last Friday, investigators identified 29-year-old Uk Thang as the gunman who shot 15 people, killing one before turning the gun on himself.

Four victims remain hospitalized at Regional One in stable but non-critical condition.

Police said Thang was a third-party vendor inside the store, but neither investigators nor Kroger have said what vendor hired him.

On Monday, Collierville police confirmed Thang was asked to leave his job the morning of the shooting. Multiple employees shared that with Action News 5 on the day of the shooting but this is the first time investigators have confirmed the information.

It could point to a possible motive, but Collierville Police Chief Dale Lane says they may never know Thang’s true intentions.

“I don’t know we’ll ever know that, you know, know the man’s heart, but we’ll know circumstances,” said Lane. “We have a pretty good picture. We know circumstances that led up to this, that you could take and say, well, maybe this is why. But to actually know what his absolute motive was, I don’t know that we’ll ever know.”

Police are still processing evidence and interviewing witnesses to the shooting. The ATF is analyzing multiple firearms, according to the chief, but investigators still aren’t saying how many were used in the shooting.

Police say Thang moved to Collierville in summer 2020.

The store remains closed.

According to the police department, the Town of Collierville met with Kroger leaders Monday to discuss support for employees and the community regarding mental well-being and relief funding. Additional meetings will take place over the coming days to discuss reopening the store.

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