Long Island shooting: Victim’s family speaks, while suspect faces murder and attempted murder charges


WEST HEMPSTEAD, L.I. — A day after opening fire in a Stop & Shop on Long Island, killing one employee and wounding two others, the suspected gunman has been hit with multiple charges, officials announced Wednesday.

Gabriel DeWitt Wilson was arrested Tuesday afternoon after fleeing and sending police on an hourslong manhunt that put the area on lockdown.

Wilson, 31, was arraigned Wednesday morning and charged with one count of murder in the second degree and four counts of attempted murder, Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said at a press conference.

According to Singas, Wilson fired a semi-automatic handgun seven times, toward five employees.
The murder charge is connected to the fatal shooting of store manager Ray Wishropp, 49, who police said Wilson shot in the upper abdomen.

On Wednesday afternoon, Wishropp’s family gathered at his home in Valley Stream, to mourn.

“You always see these things on the news,” said Alex Bernard, Wishropp’s cousin, in front of Wishropp’s home. “Your heart goes out to people, but when it’s home that that one person, that one casualty was your family member, it hurts. It hurts.”

Wilson also allegedly shot two other employees. A 50-year-old male employee was wounded twice in the shoulder and had his cheek grazed by a bullet. A 26-year-old female employee was also shot in the shoulder, according to officials.

The two other attempted murder charges stem from two 47-year-old female employees who were shot at but uninjured, authorities said.

According to police, Wilson was a cart collector at the supermarket where the shooting occurred.
They said that he’d gone upstairs in the store twice on Tuesday morning. The first time, he’d left without incident, after having apparently asked for a transfer to another Stop and Shop.

About 45 minutes later, investigators said, Wilson, who’d had a history of complaints against him at the store, returned.

He headed back to the second floor and opened fire on multiple workers in an office. Wilson then headed down the hall and fatally shot the manager in another office, Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said on Wednesday. 

If convicted of the top charge, Wilson could face up to 25 years to life in prison, according to Singas. He was remanded and is expected back in court Friday, she said.

Wilson’s arrest history dates back to July 2006, Ryder said, and includes a 2014 shootout in Baltimore during which he was shot in the head.

He was charged with with second-degree attempted murder and possession of a firearm, but Ryder said that case is ongoing.

“But he was out in the streets here in Nassau County,” Ryder added.

Wilson also has arrests on record in Baltimore stemming from an alleged assault in 2006 and an alleged attempt to distribute narcotics in 2011, and he had two mental health crisis incidents in Nassau County, one in 2016 and another in 2019, according to Ryder.

Now, the family of the man Wilson is charged with killing is faced with planning his funeral.
The parents of Ray Wishropp arrived here from Florida Wednesday afternoon, despondent.  

His next-door-neighbor, who gave only her first name, Nazo, was showing support. She said that she’s a cancer survivor, who Wishropp helped diligently over the ten years he’s lived in the neighborhood.

“When my dad passed away last year,” she said, “[Wishropp] was here every night we kept wake.  He’d come, he would bring something. And when I was going through my chemo, he was here for us” as well, she said.

Bernard said that stories like that had been pouring in over the day-and-a-half since his cousin’s life was taken.  

He said that it was helping the family find solace, along with their faith.

“We can’t blame God for wickedness,” Bernard said. “We have to turn to him for comfort.”

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