Coroner identifies victims in Southaven Walmart shooting

Coroner identifies victims in Southaven Walmart shooting
Brandon Gales, 38, and Anthony Brown, 40, were shot and killed at work Tuesday, July 30, 2019 at Walmart in Southaven.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Authorities have identified two employees killed in a shooting at Walmart in Southaven.

According to the DeSoto County Coroner’s Office, the victims are 40-year-old Anthony Brown, of Olive Branch, and 38-year-old Brandon Gales, of Hernando. Family members and friends say both men were store managers.

“These people were doing the same thing that you and I do every day, showing up for work in an attempt to provide for their families when they became victims of a senseless violent act,” said Southaven Police Chief Macon Moore.

Gales’ family says he worked at the store for 19 years before he was killed Tuesday. They describe him as a hard worker and department manager who started his career stocking shelves and worked his way up.

Gales’ family says he was quiet and a good father. He leaves behind three children -- a daughter, 18, and two sons, 10 and 5.

In the hours after the shooting, WMC spoke with a woman who was at the store Tuesday to meet with Brown for a job fair.

“What I met of him, he seemed like he was a dedicated person...and a sincere person,” said Rosetta Twilla.

Investigators say a disgruntled employee -- now identified as Martez Abram -- entered the store Tuesday morning and shot and killed two employees before shooting an officer in the parking lot. Another officer shot Abram twice.

Abram was taken to Regional One Hospital in Memphis where he underwent surgery.

The officer who was shot was taken to Baptist DeSoto Hospital. Police Chief Macon Moore says the officer’s bulletproof vest saved his life. Moore also says the department participated in an active shooter drill just two weeks ago that likely saved many lives Tuesday.

*Editor’s note: Authorities previously said Martez Abram was a former Walmart employee. He was in fact still employed but suspended at the time of the shooting.

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