Three dead in New Jersey supermarket shooting

Middlesex County prosecutor Bruce Kaplan is seen through two broken windows at a Pathmark grocery store in Old Bridge, New Jersey 31 August 2012 The front windows of the shop were broken during the incident

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A supermarket employee carried out a pre-dawn shooting at the New Jersey supermarket where his colleagues were working, killing two, officials say.

Terence Tyler, 23, left the store in Old Bridge at 03:30 EST (7:30 GMT) and returned half an hour later with a handgun and an AK-47-style rifle.

A local prosecutor said the gunman fired at the first people he saw.

An 18-year-old woman and 24-year-old man were killed before the gunman ended the rampage by shooting himself.

They were identified as Cristina LoBrutto and Bryan Breen on Friday afternoon.

'Worst phone call'

There were at least 12 people in the store in Old Bridge, a suburb about 25 miles (40km) from New York.

Analysis

To those who wonder whether the latest in a string of summer shootings across America will result in stricter controls on guns, the answer is, basically, no.

Opinion polls, by and large, do not suggest that most Americans want to restrict what some regard as their constitutional right. The rights of gun owners still have an extraordinarily effective voice in Washington, in the shape of the National Rifle Association, which has successfully led resistance to stricter controls.

The NRA's president, David Keene, hailed the Republican party's latest position on guns, adopted at its convention in Tampa, as "perhaps the most gun-friendly platform that any party had ever adopted".

The platform opposes any legislation that would limit ammunition capacity.

People were stocking shelves before the grocery shop opened, and many of those inside hid as the shooting began.

At least 16 rounds were fired, Mr Kaplan said, some breaking the front windows.

The prosecutor said the motive for the attack was still under investigation.

Officials confirmed Tyler was a former marine, discharged in 2010.

He moved to Old Bridge in June 2012, after living in southern California after the discharge. He had only been employed at the store since 20 August.

"This is the worst phone call a mayor can receive," Old Bridge Mayor Owen Henry told the New Jersey Star-Ledger newspaper. "You can prepare for these things but you can't prevent them."

Police evacuated the shop after the shooting and several of the employees were taken across the road to a restaurant.

The shooting is the latest in a series of firearm incidents in the US. Earlier this month a man opened fire at a Sikh temple in the state of Wisconsin, killing six people before police shot him in the abdomen. The gunman then killed himself, the FBI concluded.

Weeks earlier, another gunman killed 12 people during a screening of the new Batman film at a cinema in Aurora, Colorado.

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