Mother of Findlay director of bands dies in Memphis shooting

Olivia King, pictured here with her son Major Greg King of the U.S. Air Force, was killed in a...
Olivia King, pictured here with her son Major Greg King of the U.S. Air Force, was killed in a shooting at a Kroger in Collierville, Tenn. on Thursday, Sept. 23. Her other son, Wes King, is the director of bands at the University of Findlay.(Photo courtesy of the King family)
Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 1:14 PM EDT
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FINDLAY, Ohio (WTVG) - The University of Findlay band director Wes King confirmed via social media that his mother was killed in Thursday’s shooting at a Kroger in Collierville, Tenn.

King made the announcement on his Facebook page. According to news reports, the gunman attacked the grocery store in the Memphis suburb, wounding 12 people and killing one before he was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound at the store. Olivia King was the one fatality.

On Friday, police identified the man as 29-year-old Uk Thang. Authorities have not released a motive, but they said Thang worked for a third-party vendor of the grocery store.

UPDATE: Dear friends, it is with a heavy heart that I must inform you that my mother has died to her wounds. I spoke...

Posted by Wes King on Thursday, September 23, 2021

In Wes King’s first Facebook post on Thursday, he said that he had received a phone call, informing him his mother was shot at the grocery store. King said he was in his car and on his way to Tennessee.

In a later update to the original post, King said he received another phone call, saying his mother had died from her injuries.

“I spoke directly to the trauma surgeon. She was shot directly in the chest. EMTs attempted CPR until the hospital. They tried to save her at the hospital to no avail. I apologize for the graphic details, but this type of crime needs to stop being glossed over and sanitized. No one deserves this,” the post reads in part.

Collierville Kroger mass shooting victim Olivia King
Collierville Kroger mass shooting victim Olivia King(Facebook)

The King family released the following statement, “Our family is devastated by this senseless act of violence. We ask that you pray for the repose of the soul of our mother, Olivia. We also ask everyone for their prayers for all families and friends affected by the events today, as well as for God’s mercy on the shooter and his family. Thank you,” her son Wes King told ABC News. “She was shopping. My mother was 70. We believe that she had gone to daily Mass this morning and then simply went to the store at some point.”

According to the Findlay Courier, King has been the director of bands at UF since July 2020. He oversees the marching and pep bands, the wind ensemble, symphonic band, and jazz ensemble.

King’s post said they will continue to update family and friends when details on funeral arrangements and other news become available.

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