Police: Air Force veteran shoots and kills man in Virginia grocery store

JAMES CITY COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) – Police are investigating a deadly shooting that happened at a Farm Fresh grocery store, Sunday morning.

The call came in from the Norge Lane store around 8:05 a.m., according to James City County Police.

When police arrived on scene, the suspect was still inside the store and surrendered to officers peacefully. A customer shopping inside the grocery store was shot multiple times and pronounced dead at the scene.

The victim has been identified as 34-year-old Gabriel Ryan Maness of Providence Forge, according to James City County Deputy Chief Steve Rubino.

Brian Hicks
Brian Hicks

Police say the suspect, 55-year-old Brian Alexander Hicks, is reportedly a U.S Air Force veteran from Woodbridge, Va. Police confirmed Hicks is in custody.

“I never would have expected a shooting in our local farm fresh. For sure.” said Amy Collins a Farm Fresh shopper.

Hicks was armed with a .45 caliber handgun and had two additional loaded magazines in his pocket. Police said Hicks shot Maness while the two were in a middle aisle of the store. Officers got to the scene within minutes and arrested Hicks.

Rubino said officers searched the store for other possible suspects, but do not believe any one else was involved. Rubino says it’s not believed that Maness and Hicks knew each other or if there was any altercation between them prior to the shooting.

Hicks was charged with second degree murder and use of a firearm during the commission of a felony. He is being held at the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail without bond.

The motive is unknown at this time. There were other customers and employees inside the store at the time of the shooting but no one was hurt.

“As you can understand this is a very traumatic event. You have a number of employees and customers that were in the store so this is very traumatizing for them.” said Rubino.

Jeffrey Swanson, a spokesperson with Corporate Farm Fresh, says they are fully supporting police during their investigation and are assisting employees who are shaken up by this incident. The store will remain closed until tomorrow morning as police continue their investigation.

“Is just a shock and I’m a little concerned about you know finding out what happened so I can know if its going to be safe to go back in there again. Or if we have to worry about where else we go too.” said Amy Collins.

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