SOUTH CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – South Charleston community members were visibly shaken by what happened during Sunday’s Kroger shooting, especially because the shooting happened on Mother’s Day.
One day later, emotions have settled down, and community members keep echoing the same message: South Charleston is typically a safe community, and the shooting was anything but normal.
“It’s a pretty unusual thing in South Charleston to have something like that happen. I’m just happy no one else got seriously hurt. I’m obviously disappointed at what happened here, but this just shows you even in South Charleston, West Virginia, we’re not immune to this type of thing,” South Charleston Mayor Frank Mullens said.
The shooting happened just after 11 a.m., Sunday, May 14, 2023 and the store was closed for several hours afterward.
“I was just thinking this world that we live in is crazy. I didn’t know what really had happened, but everybody in the parking lot even heard the gunshot,” said a woman who witnessed the incident but didn’t want to be named.
The witness said she was inside Kroger at the register when the shooting happened.
“I witnessed people running out of the store. I heard loud voices. I did not hear the shot, but apparently everyone else did,” she said.
The woman said the entire store emptied out immediately.
“An employee said, ‘run, get in your car, and leave.’ I have to say the police were here in one second, so it was a great response,” the woman said.
The woman said she still feels safe shopping at the South Charleston Kroger despite the incident.
According to the criminal complaint, by the time police arrived at the scene, the suspect had already left and was near the Krispy Kreme just a few feet away.
Spencer is currently at the South-Central Regional Jail facing attempted murder and wanton endangerment charges.
“Things like this don’t happen in South Charleston,” said Captain Andrew Gordon, Deputy Chief Bureau Commander of the SCPD. “Without getting overly involved in the investigation, these people that were involved in the incident yesterday had prior knowledge of each other. They knew each other.”
Spencer was convicted in 2015 for drug possession with intent to deliver, meaning that she was not legally allowed to possess a gun, according to court records.
“Part of that is taking into consideration when you have an incident involving a firearm or weapon, if someone is prohibited from having that, that could mean additional charges. There’s other factors and other things that are being investigated that could mean additional charges as well,” Gordon said.
Kroger said they will not be commenting at this time because the investigation is still ongoing.