A supermarket cashier was fatally shot Monday afternoon during an argument with a shopper over a face mask, DeKalb County officials said.
The shooting happened inside the Big Bear Supermarket near The South DeKalb mall on Candler Road, DeKalb sheriff’s office spokeswoman Cynthia Williams confirmed to AJC.com.
Authorities said the suspect pistol whipped the cashier before opening fire after they got into an argument over a face mask around noon.
A reserve DeKalb County deputy, who was working part-time at the supermarket, was shot when he returned fire with the suspect who was also hit in the shootout.
The deputy’s colleagues deployed a rolling road block on the Interstate to rush the deputy to Grady Hospital in downtown Atlanta.
He is listed in stable condition at the hospital, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) is leading the shooting investigation.
The suspect was also transported to Grady hospital after the incident, Sheriff Melody Maddox said during a news conference.
Masks are not mandated in Georgia and many residents don’t wear masks. However, private businesses still mandate masks as part of their store policy.
Off-duty law enforcement are moonlighting at grocery stores in Georgia due to ongoing arguments over face masks.