woman in a Walmart in Gainesville, Georgia, berated a mother and her children for not wearing face coverings inside the retailer, a video circulating on social media shows.
The video, which went viral Wednesday, captures an older woman with a face mask confronting a mother and her three children, who were all maskless, inside a Gainesville Walmart on July 20.
[quote] This woman literally looks into these children's eyes and says, "I hope you all die."
As the video begins, the two women are seen arguing about whether children under a certain age are required to wear masks. While there is no mask mandate for the entire state of Georgia, several localities have issued their own requirements. Atlanta officials, for example, have stated that children under the age of 10 do not need to wear one.
The mother, identified by CBS46 as Desiree Alis Vansickle, told the older woman that "even the school requires that children under the age of 10 not to wear them. So why would I make them wear them?"
"I hope you all die," the older woman responds, looking down at one of the children. "I hope you all die because you're going to kill me and my husband."
As the older woman walked away, Vansickle shouted after her: "That's such a great thing to say to someone." Other shoppers are seen gathered around the two women, watching the confrontation.
Vansickle told CBS46 that she left the encounter crying and "shaking on the inside" because she was so upset.
"She was attacking the people that were coming in without masks and everybody was just kind of ignoring her and walking on and going on about their business, but I just didn't feel that it was right that she was wishing death upon people for not wearing a mask," Vansickle said.
The encounter occurred the same day that Walmart began requiring customers in all its stores to wear face coverings while shopping, regardless of whether local governments require it or not. A "health ambassador" stands at the front of each store as customers walk in, asking them to put on a mask.
But Walmart has told its employees that they should not prevent a customer from entering the store if they refuse to wear a mask, The New York Times reported.
"The ambassadors, identifiable by their black polo shirts, will work with customers who show up at a store without a face covering to try and find a solution," according to a statement from Walmart.
Vansickle said that while she doesn't mind wearing a mask, she had not planned to visit Walmart that day and thus did not come prepared.
"There was a man at the door who said, 'If you have a mask can you please put your mask on,' and we didn't have any with us but he didn't say that we couldn't come in," she said.