Witness feared for his life during shooting inside Harris Teeter in Virginia Beach

Posted at 7:57 PM, Oct 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-03 22:25:32-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Gunfire erupted in a Harris Teeter overnight, leaving an employee injured in Virginia Beach.

Wednesday night, three suspects are wanted by police.

News 3 spoke exclusively to one of the few witnesses who said he was in the store when it happened.

Raymone Arrington said he feared for his life and couldn’t believe the violence he was witnessing in his neighborhood grocery store.

Person of interest in Virginia Beach Harris Teeter shooting

He took video minutes after the shooting, showing blood splatted down one of the store's aisles.

It happened at 12:45 a.m. at the Harris Teeter on Ferrell Parkway.

Arrington said he was standing just a few feet from the shooter.

“They tussled with each other and the guy just shot him. The manager just fell to the floor to try to get away and then he shot him two more times,” said Arrington.

Arrington said he actually left the store after picking up some items, but then returned when he realized he didn’t get the money back for a coupon he used. He said he was speaking to customer service when he saw the violent attack.

“I ducked. I feared for my life, so I just got behind the register and hoped he wouldn’t kill me,” said Arrington.

Arrington said he was speaking to his wife on the phone the whole time; she even heard gunshots on the other end.

“When the guy shot him, he literally crawled right past me, asking for help and some of the employees helped him to the back,” said Arrington.

Police issued a picture of a person of interest.

They said the man they want to speak with was wearing a grey t-shirt and had headphones around his neck.

Police said three men entered the store wearing masks over their faces. They said the suspects took off after a failed robbery attempt.

Arrington said he was stunned by what happened.

“It’s a friendly atmosphere no matter what time of day you’re in there. It’s sad that something like that happened,” said Arrington.

Arrington said he is grateful to be alive after recalling what was going through his mind early this morning: “Lord, just let me please get out of the store; I just want to get home to my kids.”

Police say the employee who was shot is expected to survive.

"I've never heard of any Harris Teeter getting robbed especially in this area. It's like really surprising because there's usually police posted right out here by the Wawa and everything," shopper Josh Barnes told News 3's Aleah Hordges earlier Wednesday. "It's just really surprising."

Harris Teeter announced they will be changing the hours for this location, effective immediately. The new hours of operation will be 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Eddie Sal said he shops at the store often and is disappointed to hear it's no longer 24 hours.

"I do more shopping at night because I work nights. When I get off of work I do grocery shopping because there's nobody here, and it would make sense to come when there's nobody here," Sal said. "I'm glad I wasn't here."

Detectives ask that anyone with information on this incident call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP (1-888-562-5887).