Two women were shot Monday inside a suburban Atlanta supermarket that was busy with customers trying to stock up before a winter storm that's widely predicted to hit the area, police said.
Lawrenceville police spokesman Greg Vaughn told local news outlets the shooting happened at a Kroger and that two people of interest were taken into custody. Vaughn said the shooting came after some sort of fight or argument but didn't have details.
"The scene is a little chaotic," Vaughn told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "You can probably imagine with everybody stocking up on bread and milk," he said. Several shoppers told WSB-TV that they hid in freezers while police cleared the store.
Vaughn said the women have been hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries. He said one woman was shot in her leg and the other was shot in her torso.
Kroger officials said in a statement that no store employees were injured in the noon shooting, and the store was "evacuated and will reopen at a later date."
Calls from The Associated Press to the Lawrenceville police spokesman weren't immediately returned.
On Monday, officials were quick to act as the winter weather zeroed in, determined not be the butt of jokes like the Saturday Night Live parody that referred to the "devil's dandruff" and "Yankee's slush." Before a single drop of freezing rain or snow fell, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal had declared a state of emergency for nearly a third of the state, schools canceled classes and workers were told to stay home.
When snow fell on Atlanta two weeks ago, downtown streets of the South's business hub were jammed with unmoving cars, highway motorists slept overnight in vehicles or abandoned them where they sat, and students were forced to camp out in school gymnasiums when roads turned too treacherous for buses to navigate.
Things promised to be different Tuesday, when another round of rain, sleet and freezing rain was expected to begin walloping the area.
That's not necessarily because city and state officials are going to be better prepared — although they promised they would be — but because many people aren't taking a chance that they will get trapped again.
"Basically, everyone from the office is going to be working from home" on Tuesday, said Dakota Herrera as he left a car park in downtown Atlanta to go to his office Monday.
Atlanta has a long and painful history of being ill-equipped to deal with snowy weather. Despite officials' promises following a crippling ice storm in 2011 that they would be better prepared next time, the storm that hit the area Jan. 28 proved they still had many kinks to work out.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal indicated on Monday that he and other state officials had learned their lesson. Before a single drop of freezing rain or snow fell, Deal declared a state of emergency for nearly a third of the state and state employees were told they could stay home if they felt conditions were too dangerous. Schools canceled classes, and Deal urged people who didn't need to be anywhere to stay off the roads. Tractor-trailer drivers were handed fliers about the weather and a law requiring chains on tires in certain conditions.
"We are certainly ahead of the game this time, and that's important," Deal said. "We are trying to be ready, prepared and react as quickly as possible."
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