Mourning two grandparents murdered at a grocery store.
Vickie Lee Jones, 67, and Maurice Stallard, 69, were shot and killed on Wednesday, October 24, 2018, while shopping at a Kroger grocery store in Jeffersontown, Kentucky, a suburb of Louisville.
The shooting was a hate crime motivated by racism, Jeffersontown Police Chief Sam Rogers told the congregation at First Baptist Church on Sunday. The shooter, a white man, had first attempted to get into the predominantly African-American First Baptist church, but could not enter. He then went to the Kroger store, where he killed Jones and Stallard, both of whom were black.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer released a statement after the shootings: “I am heartbroken by this shameful and horrifying incident, and I am angry about the tragedy that results from people with guns who have no respect for human life. Over the coming days, we will learn more about what happened. For now, I grieve with the families of the victims. I ask everyone in our community to keep them in your prayers and commit to taking action against senseless gun violence.”
Mayor Fischer’s office has been hit hard by the tragedy. His aide, Louisville chief equity officer Kellie Watson, is the daughter of the first victim. Maurice Stallard was shot and killed while shopping for poster board with his 12-year-old grandson.
Stallard is described as a loving family man who was a retired GE employee and military veteran. Family friend Jessica Holman said that he was known as a warm, friendly person who would greet people with a hug. An entry in Stallard’s online guest book echoed this sentiment: “Maurice was a kind soul, with a kind word for all he met and a smile that lit up a room. Rest in peace Maurice.”
Vickie Lee Jones, who was shot and killed in the parking lot, was a widow with two sons and many grandchildren. Retired from working at a VA hospital, Jones liked to travel and was a dedicated member of her church. Her nephew James Gunn talked about his aunt in an interview. “She was one of the sweetest people you could know — and I’m not just saying that as her nephew. She had a warm and giving heart.”
More on the tragedy: Louisville Courier-Journal
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