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Police: 'Erratic' gunman at Waycross Walmart fires shots, takes own life

Police say man focused on employee before turning gun on self; no one else hurt

WAYCROSS, Ga. – A gunman walked into a Waycross Walmart about 1 a.m. Saturday and fired several shots before turning the gun on himself, Waycross police said.

A police department spokesperson told News4Jax the gunman, later identified as 19-year-old John Jaylen Kinnitt, died, but no one else was hurt.

Police said Kinnitt fired four shots total -- one into the air outside the Memorial Drive store, two more randomly after he entered the store and a fourth at himself.

He died at a hospital.

According to police reports, Kinnitt appeared to focus on an employee he recognized.

“He started saying that he knew her -- that they went to school together," the report said. "He began waving the gun around and pointing it in her face,” then turned the gun toward himself.  

According to the report, Kinnitt said, “What if I shoot myself and get back up? What are you gonna do?” Then, “What if I kill you?”  

A manager told News4Jax the employee Kinnitt focused on remained calm.

Waycross Police Chief Tommy Cox said Kinnitt's statements as he walked through the store were nonsensical.

"His actions seemed to be very erratic in the store,” Cox said. “So there’s the possibility that he may have been under the influence of some sort of substance.”

Cox said officers arrived one minute after dispatch reported an active shooter.

Seconds after police arrived, Kinnitt shot himself, police said.

According to police, Kinnitt took the weapon he used in the shooting without permission from a relative, adding that Kinnitt was underage for a concealed weapons permit in Georgia. The age requirement is 21.

Cox said investigators found no criminal record for Kinnitt and said he had been heavily involved in his church prior to Saturday's incident.

The store has reopened for business.


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