The man who shot dead a toddler and the child’s grandmother at a Publix grocery store in Palm Beach County, Florida last week, had no relationship with the victims and according to authorities, he wrote on social media that he ‘makes people and children dead. ”
The gunman, identified by the sheriff’s office in Palm Beach County as Timothy J. Wall, 55, of Loxahatchee, Florida, shot himself dead in the store in Royal Palm Beach, Florida, on Thursday morning. fatally shot. grandson, authorities said.
Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said the shooting could have been prevented if someone had warned his department about Mr. Wall’s dangerous Facebook posts.
“If someone had let us know who he was, we would have contacted him, see if he had a gun, would bring him into mental health, and you would not have killed two people,” the sheriff said on a news conference said. on Friday.
But former relatives of Mr. Wall said they were trying to warn the authorities about him. His former sister-in-law, Maia Knight, tells The Palm Beach Post that her sister, Mr. Wall’s ex-wife contacted local officials about him. Mrs. Knight also said that Mr. Wall had schizophrenia.
“My sister went to court, went to the police and told everyone he needed help,” she said. Knight told The Palm Beach Post. “My sister tries to help him, but does not know how.”
Me. Knight and Mr. Wall’s ex-wife, Monica Sandra Wall, did not respond to requests for comment.
The names of the victims – the woman, who was 69, and her grandson, who according to the authorities would be 2 this month – have not been released. Authorities said their family is calling for an amendment to the Florida Constitution in 2018 that allows victims and their family members to keep their identities private.
At the news conference on Friday, Sheriff Bradshaw stressed that the shooting was just the latest carried out by a man who posted disturbing statements online and who suffered from apparent ‘mental instability’.
“This tragedy fits the profile in the United States when these things happen,” the sheriff said.
Jonathan Metzl, director of the Department of Medicine, Health and Society at Vanderbilt University, says authorities are inundated with potentially dangerous people, making it a challenge to identify who is actually a threat. Families have the burden of proving that the person they are warning the authorities about is worth monitoring. This is perhaps the reason why law enforcers do not see someone like Mr. Wall did not notice, dr. Metzl said.
“Of course they are going to blame it on the family, because otherwise it is their fault for not doing something,” said dr. Metzl said.
Teri Barbera, a spokeswoman for a Palm Beach County sheriff, said Monday that in May 2019, Wall did one report to the Sheriff’s office. According to the incident report, Wall said Wall was an alcoholic. , owns a gun and has not worked for two years.
All the Mrs. Wall filed for divorce in 2017, Mr. Wall found no place to live and according to his report he still shared a house with his ex-wife. Delegates from the sheriff at the time told Mrs. Wall said that if she was to fear for her safety, she would have to stay ‘with friends’ until she met Mr. Wall was able to pull out.
He appears from the home the couple shared later in 2019 in West Palm Beach. Mr. Wall applied for bankruptcy protection in January.
In June 2019, Mr Wall filed his own complaint against Mrs. Wall filed and said that Mrs. Wall fetched their daughter from school and ‘ran away’ with the child.
The Wall’s lawyer told delegates that Wall had no parental rights over their daughter, the report said.
On Thursday morning, Mr. Wall walked into the Publix store in Royal Palm Beach, about 20 miles west of Palm Beach, and held a golf cart that he apparently used as a walking stick, authorities said. The sheriff walked into the store earlier in the morning, but the video footage shows him leaving after noticing a sheriff’s deputy.
He walked in again at 11:29 a.m. and saw the grandmother and child near the product department, the sheriff said.
When the grandmother scanned the products department, Mr. Wall to her and then start walking towards her, the sheriff said.
Mr. Wall fired one round at the child and killed him, the sheriff said. Mrs. Barbera said that Mr. Wall used an XD-M .45 pistol from Springfield, but he was not the original purchaser of the rifle. Investigators are still trying to determine how Mr. Wall obtained the pistol, as well as its origin, Ms. Barbera said.
The grandmother then tried to kill Mr. Wall to stop, the sheriff said. The fight between mr. Wall and the grandmother “possibly made the gun work,” said Mr. Wall reloaded, Ms. Barbera said.
“It is believed that the grandmother may have helped to prevent a worse tragedy,” she said. Barbera said in a statement.
While Mr. Wall and the grandmother struggled, Mr. Wall pushed her to the ground and shot her, the sheriff said. Mr. Wall then shot himself dead.
“The real sad part of this, other than the fact that two people died, is that there is a chance it could be stopped,” Sheriff Bradshaw said, referring to Florida’s ‘red flag’ rifle. law, which allows judges to seize the weapons of potentially dangerous people. The law was passed in Florida after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland in 2018, in which 17 people were killed.