Portland Kroger shoppers describe Thursday shooting: ‘It was terrifying’

Neighbors react following deadly officer-involved shooting at Portland Kroger

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Portland’s Kroger is back open to customers following a Thursday night officer-involved shooting at the store that left an alleged gunman dead outside of the front entrance.

Friday afternoon, shoppers who saw firsthand the terror inside the store were still working to wrap their minds around what happened.

Dylan Wyatt was inside the store when he says the suspect pulled out a gun and opened fire.

"I heard him say he had a gun, and at that point me, my girlfriend, and four customers hid behind the bakery,” he said.

Wyatt said they hid for 15 minutes.

"I mean, gosh, it was terrifying,” he said. “I mean, going back behind the bakery and hearing... that first gunshot. It sounded close. Probably 10 or 15 feet where we were, and then the second one was just as close."

Rebecca Steffler grew up in Portland and was taking her father to get groceries Thursday night when the chaos erupted. She said she’s still trying to process what happened in her neighborhood.

“Portland's always been a little bit rough, but it's Portland,” Steffler said. “As long as you mind your business and stuff, people usually leave you alone. But the world is different today."

Paul Ethridge said he was turned away from the store Friday morning before the doors re-opened.

"I was really surprised that it happened, I really was,” Ethridge said. “My main concern was obviously for the customers and the workers here as well as the security teams, because they are there to protect us."

Despite what happened Thursday, frequent shopper Marcie Crawford said she’ll keep shopping in Portland because the Kroger there feels like home.

"I still love my store,” she said.

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