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Stop & Shop launches 'compassion fund' in wake of fatal shooting

The scene outside Stop & Shop in West

The scene outside Stop & Shop in West Hempstead on Tuesday. Credit: Lou Minutoli

Officials from Stop & Shop said they will offer financial assistance for funeral expenses and other needs for a grocery manager who was shot and killed Tuesday, allegedly by another employee, at the company's West Hempstead store.

The statement said those at the grocery chain were "heartbroken by the violence" and were mourning the loss of Ray Wishropp while also praying for the full recovery of two other workers injured in the shooting.

"We have also established the West Hempstead Compassion Fund," the statement said. "Stop & Shop is contributing $500,000 to launch this fund, which will be managed by the National Compassion Fund, and 100% of the donations made will go directly to those affected by this tragedy."

The statement directed donations to:

The company, headquartered in Quincy, Massachusetts, also is providing grief counseling and support for its associates, according to the statement released by a local public relations firm.

Wishropp, 49, was the father of seven and a new grandfather who lived in Valley Stream. He had worked for the company for 30 years at different locations, according to a longtime friend.

The other two victims were a 50-year-old man and a 26-year-old woman who were hospitalized.

Police have arrested Gabriel DeWitt Wilson, 31, a shopping cart attendant at the store. He is charged with one count of murder and four counts of attempted murder. On Wednesday, he pleaded not guilty and was ordered held without bail.

A judge has set Wilson's next court date for May 12.

Police said Wilson had a history of harassing other employees and opened fire from a .380-caliber semiautomatic handgun in an upstairs office area shortly after he spoke with managers about transferring to a different store.

The store’s statement also thanked first responders and said officials continue to cooperate fully with local law enforcement in their investigation.

The West Hempstead store will remain closed until further notice, the statement said.

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