Gunman kills 2 women outside a Family Dollar as dollar stores continue to suffer from a plague of violence

On Friday afternoon, an unknown gunman shot and killed two women in the parking lot of a Family Dollar store in Lumberton, North Carolina.

The attack claimed two lives — including one mother who was shot in front of her children. The double homicide is also just the latest violent incident he property for the national dollar store chain. Dollar store outlets like Family Dollar, its parent company Dollar Tree, and Dollar General have increasingly been singled out in the press as frequently being the site of robberies, assaults, and even murders.

In a statement sent to Business Insider, a Lumberton Police Department spokesperson said that officers were dispatched to a local Family Dollar around 4:56 p.m. to respond to a shooting.

The suspected shooter had been dropped off at the store’s parking lot in a grey vehicle. The male suspect proceeded to shoot “into multiple vehicles that were backing out of parking spaces.”

Courtesy of the Lumberton Police Department

Victims 32-year-old Kayla Kyle and 42-year-old Kimberly Hunt had been killed in the store’s parking lot. WRAL reported Gilbert Baez posted on Facebook that Kyle was an Air Force veteran who attempted to fend off an attempted carjacking by the shooter.

Baez wrote that Kyle “had just placed her nine-year-old son and one-year-old daughter in the backseat of her car. We’re told that’s when the gunman tried to steal her car.”

When Kyle attempted to drive off, Baez wrote that the gunman shot her several times.

According to WRAL News, the suspect drove away from the scene in Hunt’s car, which he then abandoned near the store. A police spokesperson told Business Insider that at this time, the department believes the shooting was “random.”

“We are extremely saddened by the incident that occurred on Friday in the parking lot of one of our Lumberton store locations,” a Family Dollar spokesperson told Business Insider. “We are cooperating fully with local law enforcement on their investigation.”

The Family Dollar location was robbed previously on November 4, 2017 and February 22, 2020.

Courtesy of the Lumberton Police Department

The Lumberton Police Department is the lead agency on the case, although the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is providing investigative assistance. Burnis Wilkins, the sheriff of Robeson County, also posted about the case on Facebook, noting that it now has a $5,000 reward for anyone with information leading to an arrest.

“There is really nothing I can say to make this any better for family members and friends of Kayla and Kim, but please know we are praying for peace and some sort of understanding,” he wrote.

The Lumberton shooting is not the first Family Dollar-related homicide to occur this summer. On May 1, Family Dollar security guard Calvin Munerlyn was shot and killed in Flint, Michigan over a dispute about masks. Three people have been charged in Munerlyn’s murder, the Washington Post reported.

News outlets including CNN and Pro Publicahave released extensive reports indicating that dollar store chains like Dollar General and Dollar Tree are prime targets when it comes to robberies and violent crime.

Meanwhile, police in North Carolina urged the public to come forward with information about the Lumberton Family Dollar shooter.

“This man has proven himself as an armed and dangerous coward and he should be treated as such,” Wilkins wrote. “Let’s find him before he does this again. At this point, he has nothing to lose. Come forward now. “

The Lumberton Police Department asks that tipsters with information call 910-671-3845.

*story by Business Insider