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Shoppers: Food Lion shooting 'doesn't make sense'
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Shoppers: Food Lion shooting 'doesn't make sense'

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GREENSBORO — The echo of a gunshot that killed a 51-year-old Food Lion security guard sent shoppers running from the store Saturday night, but patrons said Sunday they wouldn't let fear stop them from returning to their local grocery store. 

"The way this world is it could happen anywhere," said Felicia Hayes, 39, of Greensboro. "Bullets don't have eyes. If it is your time to go it is your time to go."

Greensboro Police Department identified the Guard-One security officer as Anthony Charles Smith of Winston-Salem. He was shot at 7:21 p.m. inside the company's 2316 E. Market St. location. 

"It's a sad situation," said Vanecia Gainey, 29, of Greensboro. "He was a nice man. Now you have to think about this stuff."

A Guard-One dispatcher said officials would not be available until Monday morning. 

Food Lion spokeswoman Christy Phillips-Brown referred the News & Record to local police but released a statement from company officials: "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends and co-workers of Anthony Smith, the security guard who passed away at our store last night."

Police officers said they need to talk to the shoppers who left the store in fear, hoping someone has information that would lead to an arrest. 

Police said a heavy-set, light-skinned black male standing between 5-foot-10 to 6-feet tall with dreadlocks and wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with a hat, black pants and Nike sneakers got into a confrontation with the security guard that led to the shooting.  The suspect ran out of the store and continued on foot on South English Street.

Officers and store employees left behind little evidence Sunday that a crime occurred the night before. 

Inches of crime scene tape still tied around light posts blew in the wind after being cut away by officers. Inside, two security guards greeted customers instead of one. 

Caprica James, 28, of Greensboro, walked out of Food Lion unaware of the shooting. 

"Really?" James asked when learning what had happened. "I don't feel safe. I'm going home."

Mark Shaffer and Mia Osborn, both 26 and from McLeansville, stopped to pick up groceries on their way out of Greensboro. 

"It's insane," Shaffer said. "I won't shop here after 5 p.m."

Most shoppers knew the shooting happened but weren't afraid to pick up groceries. 

"It just shows you how the world is now," said Courtland Nelson, 20, of Greensboro. "That's how the world is. It could happen anywhere."

Samantha Goody, 30, of Greensboro called the shooting ignorant. 

"It doesn't make sense: a Food Lion security guard, really?" Goody asked as she loaded her trunk with groceries. "I can't imagine that there is too much value in there that you would want to kill someone." 

Many people called the crime sad, but the reality of today's world. 

"There is violence everywhere," said 38-year-old Jon Little. "You can't be scared everywhere you go." 

Contact Danielle Battaglia at (336) 373-4476 and follow @dbattagliaNR on Twitter.​

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