Witness says Wake County deputy made right decision to shoot Walgreens suspect

Wake County News
Garner Walgreens shooting drone image 2

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – One witness said he was used to seeing traffic stops all along Tryon Road in Raleigh and nothing seemed out of the ordinary right up until the moment he heard multiple gunshots.

“I’ve never witnessed anything like this, and I didn’t want too,” said Victor Sosa.

Sosa said he first noticed a Wake County Sheriff’s Deputy follow a blue Hyundai into the Golden Corral parking lot early Thursday morning and initially didn’t think much of it.

“He was driving casually down the road,” said Sosa. “I could never tell anything was going on. Now you’re telling me he shot two other victims at Walgreens, and I could never tell.”

Authorities said that Hyundai was being driven by 60-year-old Stephen Allen Denning. 

Denning is accused of shooting two pharmacy employees at a Walgreens just south of the Golden Corral, police said. 

“He started walking like it was nothing,” said Sosa. “He was jogging towards the door. At first, I thought it was an elderly person that had an officer behind them. When I heard the gunshots – it was so shocking I didn’t know what to do.”

Sosa said he quickly got his coworkers inside of their office fearing for their own safety.

“I didn’t know at that point who it was,” said Sosa. “Who was shot, the victim or the officer? It all happened so quick that you couldn’t react to it. You don’t know how to react to it.”

After multiple shots were fired, Sosa said other deputies arrived at the scene and the deputy dropped to his knees overcome with emotion.

“He made the right decision in order to protect the workers and employees at Golden Corral,” said Sosa. “If he would’ve got in, who knows what could’ve happened. Who knows if we’re not talking about another victim being shot.”

The SBI is currently investigating the circumstances surrounding the shooting.

A spokesman for the Wake County Sheriff’s Office says he anticipates the deputy involved in the shooting will be placed on administrative duty.

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