OLD BRIDGE, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey supermarket employee opened fire at the closed store early today as a dozen or more colleagues worked inside, killing two of them and himself, a prosecutor said.
The 23-year-old man left a Pathmark store in Old Bridge Township around 3:30 a.m. and returned a half-hour later with a handgun and an AK-47 assault rifle, Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan said.
There were 12 to 14 people in the store at the time, Kaplan said. The man fired the rifle at the first workers he saw, killing an 18-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man as other workers hid, he said. At least 16 rounds were fired, some breaking the front windows.
He then killed himself, said Kaplan, who did not release the name of the gunman or the victims. The motive is under investigation.
Police at the scene kept onlookers well away from the store this morning. A number of vehicles were in the parking lot outside, along with police vehicles.
The store and its parking lot were closed. Pathmark officials had no immediate comment.
Old Bridge is a bedroom community of about 65,000 just across the Raritan Bay from New York City’s Staten Island borough.
New Jersey Transit closed its nearby park-and-ride lot for bus passengers and told riders that they could park in other park-and-ride lots or could ride a rail line.
Associated Press photographer Julio Cortez in Old Bridge and writer Geoff Mulvihill in Trenton, N.J., contributed to this report.