Stop & Shop creates fund for Long Island shooting victims, donates $500,000

Long Island
Stop & Shop shooting in West Hempstead

Emergency service personnel work at the scene of a shooting at a Stop & Shop supermarket in West Hempstead, Long Island on April 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

WEST HEMPSTEAD, L.I. — Stop & Shop has established a fund to provide financial assistance to the family of a Long Island store manager who was killed and other employees who were injured in a shooting allegedly carried out by another worker on Tuesday.

The supermarket chain announced on Sunday that in addition to providing grief counseling, the company has donated $500,000 toward the launch of the West Hempstead Compassion Fund.

The fundraiser is independently managed by the National Compassion Fund, and 100% of donations will go directly toward funeral expenses and assistance to those who were injured.

“We are heartbroken by the violence that occurred at our West Hempstead store. We are mourning the loss of our beloved team member, Ray Wishropp, and praying for the full recovery of our two other injured associates. We are very grateful to the first responders for their heroic actions,” a spokesperson for the company said in a statement Sunday.

A separate GoFundMe fundraiser was also established by Wishropp’s family to help his seven children.

Wishropp will be laid to rest during a funeral service and interment in Farmingdale on Wednesday, according to New Hyde Park Funeral Home. Visitation will be held at the funeral home on Tuesday.

The 49-year-old store manager was fatally shot and two other employees were injured Tuesday morning when a “troubled employee” opened fire inside a set of offices on the second floor of the West Hempstead Stop & Shop about 40 minutes after asking about transferring to another store, police said. 

Suspected gunman Gabriel DeWitt Wilson, a shopping cart collector with a criminal history involving gun violence and mental health crises, had been reprimanded in recent months for threatening and sexually harassing colleagues, according to authorities.

Wilson was arraigned on Wednesday on murder and attempted murder charges. He was ordered jailed without bail. 

His lawyer said Wilson still suffers the “lingering effects” of being shot in the head in Baltimore when he was 19.

A spokesperson for Stop & Shop said on Sunday the company continues to work with police on their investigation and the store remained closed until further notice.  

Nassau County police take into custody Gabriel DeWitt Wilson, center, who is suspected in a fatal shooting at a Stop & Shop in West Hempstead on April 20, 2021. (J. Conrad Williams Jr./Newsday via AP)

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