Daughter says Target shooter had terminal cancer
Posted May 31, 2010 8:04 a.m. EDT
Updated May 31, 2010 7:15 p.m. EDT
Apex, N.C. — The suspect in a fatal shooting in the Super Target in Apex on Sunday was terminally ill with prostate cancer, his daughter told WRAL News on Monday.
Police said Mervin Carroll Mims, 67, shot and killed his former girlfriend, Guadalupe F. Rosas, 59, of Apex, before killing himself in the store Sunday morning.
Mims' daughter, Angie Daugherty, said in a telephone interview from her Florida home that her father had been living in North Carolina for awhile. He was originally from Florida. Though Mims and Rosas had broken up in 2005, they still saw each other from time to time, Daughtery said.
Police responded to reports of an active shooter at the store, at 1201 Beaver Creek Commons Drive, around 11:35 a.m., Apex police Capt. Ann Stephens said.
They found Rosas, a cashier at Target, dead in the front of the store.
Witness Justin Ley said he was in the checkout line at the store when he heard a gunshot. He said Rosas fell on the ground beside him and he locked eyes with her gunman.
Ley said the shooter pointed a handgun at him and ordered everyone to get out of the store. Four people were hurt in the mad dash to leave the store.
When police arrived there were still 150 people in the store hiding and Mims was still inside. Stephens said officers challenged Mims to put down the handgun, but he shot and killed himself.
Jeani Richter, who was shopping with her three-year-old daughter when everyone started to flee Sunday, returned to the Target Monday.
“I felt like it was something I needed to do just for my own, I don't know, comfort," she explained.
Other shoppers expressed shock and sadness over the shooting.
“Shock, absolute shock, it’s the kind of thing you don't expect here,” Jim Horner said while shopping at the Target Monday.
Rosas had been working at Target for about two years and is survived by a daughter and two grandchildren.
Mims was living in his Toyota truck at the time of the shooting, Stephens said. Authorities searched his vehicle on Sunday.
The store was evacuated and nearby businesses were put on lock-down directly following the shooting.
Anyone who saw anything but left Target prior to police's arrival should contact Apex police at 919-362-8661.