Police: Store employee unloading bags into customer’s car shot, killed when rifle in car discharged

LINDEN, Texas — An employee helping a customer place groceries in their car Friday night was shot and killed when a rifle in the back seat of the car discharged in a store parking lot in Linden, Texas, police say.

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The Linden Police Department said the shooting happened just after 3:30 p.m. Friday in the parking lot of Crump’s Food Center. The employee was identified by police as Larry Lawrence, 39.

Witnesses called police stating that a store employee, Lawrence, was helping a customer put groceries in the back seat of a car. There was a dog also in the back seat and as Lawrence was petting it, a .22 rifle that was in the back of the car reportedly discharged.

Lawrence was shot in the chest, police said, according to KSLA.

Some of the witnesses in the area tried to help resuscitate him as some called 911. Once emergency medical services arrived, they administered life-saving measures but he was pronounced dead, according to the news outlet.

Linden Police Chief David Dulude said, according to KSLA, that the incident appears to be accidental but they are continuing to investigate.

“It is unclear of the means of the discharge at this time,” Chief Dulude said, according to the news station.

Crump’s Food Center released a statement on Facebook following the shooting, according to KSLA.

“Tragedy has taken place at Crump’s Food Center. We lost a fine young man. He carried out groceries, put them in the back seat of a truck, a loaded rifle was in the seat, and a dog stepped on the rifle, shooting the young man. He died shortly thereafter. Until we are certain that his family has been notified, we will not be releasing his name. We ask for prayers for this young man’s family,” Crump’s Food Center said.

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