Stop & Shop employee Olivia Leary, shot by Gabriel Wilson...

Stop & Shop employee Olivia Leary, shot by Gabriel Wilson in the 2021 West Hempstead shooting, testified at Wilson’s second-degree murder trial in Mineola on Wednesday. Credit: Danielle Silverman

Stop & Shop perishables manager Olivia Leary testified on Wednesday that she originally thought alleged gunman Gabriel Wilson had shot store manager Aram Dikici with a BB gun — until the former cart collector turned and fired two shots at her. 

Leary smelled gunpowder and saw shell casings bounce on the floor of her second-floor office at the West Hempstead supermarket, she testified at Wilson’s trial for second-degree murder, attempted murder and other charges in Nassau County Criminal Court. Blood gushed from a gunshot wound to her right arm. 

“I don’t want to die at Stop & Shop,” Leary, 28, said she told police medics as they treated her on the bloodstained floor of the office she shared with Dikici and others. 

April 20, 2021 — the day of the shooting that left grocery manager Ray Wishropp dead and Leary and Dikici severely wounded — was Leary’s second day at the store. 

WHAT TO KNOW

  • Witness Olivia Leary testified in Gabriel Wilson's murder trial that he had shot her colleague with a BB gun — until he opened fire on her. 
  • “I don’t want to die at Stop & Shop,” Leary said she told police medics. 
  • Wilson, 33, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, attempted murder and other charges. 

Nassau County prosecutors said Wilson, 33, opened fire on Leary, Dikici and three other Stop & Shop employees on that deadly day in 2021. Wilson pleaded not guilty in June 2021 to a nine-count indictment that included second-degree murder, attempted murder and other charges. 

Assistant District Attorneys Stefanie Palma and Jared Rosenblatt have said Wilson left the manager's office after shooting Leary and Dikici and went to a nearby filing room, where he fatally shot Wishropp, 49, the father of seven and a new grandfather. About a dozen of Wishropp’s family members and supporters have been present during the first three days of Wilson’s trial.

Wishropp’s uncle, Arthur Wishropp, praised Nassau and Hempstead police for arresting Wilson hours after the shooting took place. 

“He’s going to have to pay the consequences, because God says ‘Thou shalt not kill,'” Arthur Wishropp said outside of court. “He had no reason to shoot at these people.”

Under questioning by Rosenblatt, Leary testified that she had met Wilson just once before the shooting, when she came to the store to introduce herself to her new colleagues. Their interaction, she said, was polite and extremely brief. 

Leary said she was standing at her desk, her back to the doorway, when she heard someone speaking to Dikici, who was seated at his desk. She heard a gunshot and turned to her right, where she saw Wilson standing in the doorway and pointing a gun directly at Dikici.

Dikici fell to the ground and Leary went to assist him, she testified. Wilson fired two shots at her, a bullet striking her right arm. At first, she testified, she thought Wilson had opened fire with a BB gun. 

“I didn’t want to think that anyone would bring a gun into a grocery store,” she said.

 Leary said she was panicked as she pulled her cellphone out of her right pocket with her left hand — she couldn’t use her right arm because of the pain — and called 911. Dikici, she said, was unresponsive as she spoke to a 911 operator. 

“I think his body was in shock at that point,” she said. “He had bled out quite a bit on the floor. ”

The bullet that struck her arm went into her right lung and broke a rib before it exited through her back. She was hospitalized at Winthrop University Hospital for five days after the shooting and said she still suffers from chronic pain that makes it difficult to sleep. She has not returned to work since the shooting, Leary said. 

Two Nassau Bureau of Special Operations officers, Michael Roseto and Emile Knight, testified Wednesday that Wilson asked cops to shoot him as they cornered him in the hallway of a Terrace Avenue apartment building. Wilson eventually surrendered without shots fired. 

Wilson’s defense attorney, Brian Carmody, acknowledged in his opening statement on Monday that Wilson shot Wishropp, Dikici and Leary, but he asked jurors to keep an open mind about his client’s intent on the day of the shooting. Carmody declined to comment on Wednesday. 

During Monday’s opening arguments, Carmody said he expected his client would be convicted of some crimes. If jurors believed Wilson did not intend to kill that day, they could convict him of the lower charge of manslaughter, which has a lighter sentence. The maximum sentence for murder is 25 years to life in prison.

Two Stop & Shop employees who were in the room with Wishropp when he was shot are expected to testify on Thursday. 

With Danielle Silverman

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Summer tourism ... Shark sightings on LI . . . Dino-Mite Vintage . . . What's Up on Long Island . . . Get the latest news and more great videos at NewsdayTV

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