Cashier stabbed to death at grocery store

FORT WAYNE, IN – A deadly incident in a Waynedale’s Kroger store has ended fatally with one woman deceased due to an alleged stabbing. The authorities have a suspect, Jermard J. Lewis, 30, of Fort Wayne, behind bars, believed to have come back to Kroger specifically to assault the cashier.

The disruption reportedly began around 10:30 a.m. Thursday when Lewis initiated a dispute with the staff. After leaving, he returned to the store, targeting and subsequently fatally stabbing cashier Perla Nieto, who was stationed at the self-checkout.

According to court documents, the fatal assault saw Lewis approaching Nieto from behind, pulling her tight, and instigating a brutal stabbing. The attack continued even as she fell to the ground. Nieto was urgently ferried to a nearby hospital, but her injuries proved fatal.

Kroger officials have issued a statement expressing grief over the incident, emphasizing their continuous commitment to the safety and security of their customers and associates. The store will continue to remain closed until further notice, maintaining cooperation with the police investigation.

Swift police action resulted in Lewis’s capture, and he’s currently facing a murder charge. Investigators utilized store surveillance footage, witness accounts, and his home address to trace and identify Lewis.

During an interview with the police, Lewis admitted his intention to attack Nieto due to an argument during an earlier visit. However, he couldn’t remember the number of times he stabbed Nieto but confirmed using the knife found in his pocket.

Court records indicate a troubled past for Lewis, who in 2017 accepted a plea agreement for felony battery and two counts of misdemeanour resisting law enforcement. Lewis was released from prison in November of 2020.