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"Had I been there what would I have done?" | Collierville Police major at Kroger store not long before shooting recounts tragedy

“I see officers running all over the place trying to find the shooter,” said Major David Townsend. “They were not hesitating - they were all heroes in my opinion.”

COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. — A Collierville police major who was in the Kroger not long before last week’s mass shooting took place is sharing his account of the tragedy.

There’s understandably a mix of emotions just seven days after last week’s mass shooting. 

The scene at the store during the time was chaotic as officers rushed in to stop the gunman.

“I see officers running all over the place trying to find the shooter,” said Major David Townsend. “They were not hesitating - they were all heroes in my opinion.”

Townsend said he went by Kroger to grab lunch and was then called to a work meeting. Not long after though, officers heard the call about multiple rounds going off at the grocery store. 

“It does play through my mind all the time,” said Townsend. “Had I been there what would I have done? I would think I would’ve fallen back on my training as well and maybe addressed the shooter a whole lot quicker. We’ll never know.”

The major shared he was with victims when he entered the store.

“I was one of the few that went in the main entrance to Kroger and I was actually with Ms. King.”

Victim Olivia king later died. Townsend said although he didn’t know the 70-year-old victim personally, his wife did. 

“Every incident, there’s a curveball to it. When you train you don’t ever think about people you might know that are involved. When I saw Ms. King, I knew Ms. King. Knew who she was.”

He explained tragedies like this one hit differently when it’s close to home, adding the bravery agencies and first responders showed went a long way.  

“No matter whether they were wearing tan uniforms, blue uniforms, or whatever, they were wearing we were all one team that day,” Townsend said.

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