Georgia family mourn cashier killed by customer over mask

Laquitta Willis was described by her sister as "just loving, funny, she was quiet at times but once you got to know her, just an amazing person. A dependable person, you always have in your corner."

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A woman in DeKalb County, Georgia was tragically gunned down on Monday by a customer who refused to wear a mask. The victim, 41-year-old Laquitta Willis, was a cashier at Big Bear Supermarket in Decatur and was trying to enforce the store’s mask policy, CBS 46 reports.

Willis’s sister Alexis Breland described the slain essential worker as “just loving, funny, she was quiet at times but once you got to know her, just an amazing person. A dependable person, you always have in your corner,” said Breland, per CBS 46.

“A life was lost, a beautiful soul was lost over something that not too long ago was mandatory,” she added.

Georgia Laquitta Willis thegrio.com
Laquitta Willis was tragically gunned down by a customer who refused to wear a mask. (Credit: GoFundMe)

According to police, Willis told the suspect, Victor Tucker, to put his mask on and Tucker refused. Tucker then exited the store, quickly returned with a firearm, and shot Willis in the head. An off-duty deputy who detained Tucker was also shot and another cashier was grazed by a bullet, CBS 46 reports.

Willis’ family members are now questioning whether anyone saw the gunman while he was walking back to the store and if anything more could have been done. They are also demanding justice.

“This person meant so much to so many people and this was a senseless death. So whatever is deemed justice for his actions– I think everything should be thrown at him,” said Breland.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, similarly, violent incidents in stores and other places of business have been reported across the country. As theGrio previously reported, last May, two men in Los Angeles who refused to wear a mask were arrested after assaulting a security guard in a Target store and this March, a woman in Galveston was arrested for failing to comply with the bank’s COVID policy.

In the aftermath of Willis’s murder, the United Food and Commercial Workers union issued a statement.

“For too long, many of our leaders have failed to consider how the changing COVID guidelines affect America’s essential workers who face daily exposure to individuals who are not vaccinated and refuse to wear masks, “ the statement read. “When workers are forced to play mask and vaccination police, they put their lives at risk. This has now resulted in the heartbreaking murder of an innocent grocery store cashier who was simply doing her job.”

A GoFundMe has been created to help with her funeral expenses. It has thus far exceeded its $10,000 goal, raising over $21,000 as of Thursday.

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