Man Kills Two Former Coworkers in California Grocery Store

A grocery store turned into a slaughterhouse on June 29 when Joseph Hunter Parker, armed with a samurai-type sword, killed two former coworkers at an Albertson's supermarket in Irvine, Calif.

Parker wounded another employee and two customers before being confronted by police. When Parker allegedly started toward one of the police officers sent in to subdue him, he was shot by several officers. He died at a local hospital.

Police said approximately 50 shoppers were in the store at 9:30 a.m. on June 29 when Parker entered the store carrying the sword and wearing a trench coat and beret. Parker allegedly approached the store manager to ask for some time off. As he walked away, he pulled out the sword and began attacking those people standing near him.

He killed Judith Fleming, 55, and John Nutting, 60, who were both long-time employees of the store. Parker quit his job bagging groceries at the store about two weeks before the incident.

Eyewitnesses described the murder scene as mayhem, with store employees and customers trying to defend themselves with items they pulled off store shelves. One man told the Los Angeles Times, "There were trails of blood everywhere."

Mark Ming, another Albertsons employee, said that while he never felt threatened by Parker, he would describe him as "really odd man." Ming told the Associated Press that Parker had "full conversations with himself," but added, "He was respectful toward customers."

Acknowledging Parker was being treated for schizophrenia, his sister, Heather Parker of Anaheim, Calif., said he had never been in trouble before and described him as "kind."

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