stop & shop shooting

Alleged Long Island Stop & Shop Gunman Pleads Not Guilty to Murder Charges

One person died in the April shooting; at least two others were wounded, officials have said

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What to Know

  • Gabriel DeWitt Wilson pleaded not guilty to an indictment accusing him of murder for the April 20 shooting at a Long Island Stop & Shop
  • Authorities captured the suspected gunman after a four-hour manhunt when law enforcement saw the 31-year-old on surveillance video trying to leave a building not far from the crime scene
  • Wilson is accused of killing Ray Wishropp, 49, and wounded two other people -- a 50-year-old man who was shot multiple times, as well as a 26-year-old woman who was also shot in the shoulder

Gabriel DeWitt Wilson, the alleged gunman of April's deadly shooting at a Long Island Stop & Shop, pleaded not guilty to charges in an indictment accusing the man of murder, among eight other charges.

Wilson appeared virtually in court on Friday in Nassau County on a nine-count indictment accusing him of murder, attempted murder, assault and weapon charges for allegedly entering the Long Island grocery store on April 20 and killing the store manager and wounding several others. He was ordered to continue to be held without bail.

Authorities captured the suspected gunman after a four-hour manhunt when law enforcement saw the 31-year-old on surveillance video trying to leave a building not far from the crime scene and swooped in.

Wilson is accused of killing Ray Wishropp, 49, and wounded two other people -- a 50-year-old man who was shot multiple times in the shoulder and grazed in the cheek, as well as a 26-year-old woman who was also shot in the shoulder. In all, Wilson fired seven shots; a motive for the shooting is still not clear.

Prosecutors on Friday said both survivors were "lucky to be alive" and still recovering from their injuries. The woman who was shot has a loss of feeling on her right side, prosecutors said, with significant nerve damage. Both survivors declined to comment on Friday.

Police say a man who killed a manager and wounded two workers Tuesday at a Long Island grocery store was a “troubled employee” who’d been reprimanded in recent months for threatening and sexually harassing colleagues.

Authorities said Wilson, who family and a fellow employee said was a shopping cart wrangler at the store, went to the office area immediately after arriving for work on Tuesday and shot the two survivors before going down the hall to shoot the store manager. In total, he shot his handgun seven times at five different people, according to police, who also added they do not know if the weapon was legally possessed.

According to police, based on interviews, Wilson was a troubled employee who allegedly made unwanted advances toward employees and had conflicts, including a female employee who complained about unwanted advances and gifts as well as other shopping cart employees who complained about aggressiveness by Wilson.

Wilson was allegedly brought in and spoken to by managers about behavior about a month before the shooting. On the day of the shooting, police said Wilson went into the store and talked to the manager about transferring to another location. This talk was described as uneventful, however, 40 minutes later, he returned to the building and opened fire, police said.

With memorials both inside and outside the store where a manager was shot and killed by a disgruntled employee, both customers and other workers are trying to move forward. NBC New York's Pei-Sze Cheng reports.

Wilson then fled the scene and witnesses reported seeing him run off with a small handgun after the gun attack, police said. Nassau County's police commissioner said that tips from people who knew Wilson, in addition to surveillance video, helped track the suspect. NBC New York obtained surveillance video showing what appeared to be Wilson walking on a Hempstead sidewalk after the shooting.

He allegedly tried to escape on a bus, according to police reports, but he was later found after a four-hour search, found on Terrance Avenue in Hempstead, about a seven-minute drive from the store. (Here's everything we know about Wilson right now.)

Wilson's attorney described his client as "a boy in a man's body" and told NBC New York he'd likely pursue a psychiatric defense, claiming a serious brain injury Wilson suffered as a teen led to his current mental state.

"He was shot in the head when he was 19. He's missing 35 percent of his brain," his attorney said, though declined to say whether Wilson understood what happened or what he did.

County prosecutors did not explicitly comment on Wilson's mental state, but said he behaved strangely once police tracked him following the manhunt, telling officers at the time of his arrest to shoot him.

Wilson is due back in court next month; if convicted he faces up to 25 years to life in prison.

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