Motive in Old Bridge supermarket shooting still a mystery as store reopens

By Dan Goldberg

There was apparently no altercation, no argument between co-workers. He just left, came back and started shooting.

One week after Terence Tyler opened fire inside the Old Bridge Pathmark store, killed Bryan Breen, 24, Christina LoBrutto, 18, before turning a gun on himself, the store reopened today. But what pushed the 23-year-old former Marine toward murder remains a mystery.

John Niccollai, president of the union that represents food workers at the Route 9 supermarket, said he has spoken with “about a dozen” employees who were inside the store during last Friday’s brazen pre-dawn attack. According to them, Noccollai said today, no one could recount a single incident that would have sent Tyler over the edge during his overnight shift.

Tyler had worked at the store for just two weeks and, according to the other employees, kept to himself, Niccollai said.

Authorities have said 13 people were inside the store at the time of the shooting. Noccollai was not among them.

“It just seems like he left the store, went to his car, put on his camouflage uniform, got the weapons and started firing,” Niccollai, of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 464A, said. “There was no rhyme or reason.”

Employees tried to return to some semblance of normalcy today, the first day since the shooting that the store was open for business. But reminders of what happened were everywhere and shoppers, many of whom stopped to lay flowers or say a prayer at a makeshift memorial for the slain workers, were still shocked such an atrocity could occur at their local grocery store.

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