Police Captain Ann Stephens told ABC11 a man came in just after 11:30 a.m. and shot 58-year-old employee Guadalupe Rosas of Apex.
Shoppers ran for cover as the shots rang out, but no one else was injured by the gunfire.
Witness Justin Ley told ABC11 he was in the checkout line next to Rosas when it happened. He said there was no yelling before the shooting that happened just after Rosas opened a new register. After shooting her, Ley said the shooter then pointed the gun at him and told him to "get the f*** out," and he ran.
Stephens said the shooter was still in the store when police officers arrived. They challenged him to put down his pistol, but Stephens said he instead put the gun to his own head and killed himself.
The shooter was not identified pending notification of next of kin. Stephens said it appears he was not a local and he had out of state license plates on his truck.
Stephens said the investigation shows Rosas and the shooter had been in a relationship that ended in 2005. Rosas had worked for Target for about two years.
In the rush to get out of the store, four people were injured. Most had bumps and bruises, but Stephens said one person suffered a fracture.
The Target store and the Lowes next door remained closed Sunday. Workers were seen returning Monday morning.
In a statement, Target said:
"Target is deeply saddened by the loss of one of our team members and the tragic event that took place at our Apex, N.C., store shortly after 11 a.m. Sunday morning. The safety and well-being of our guests and team members is our highest priority. The store was immediately evacuated following the incident and we are cooperating fully with law enforcement in its investigation."
Target said counselors would be on hand Monday to help employees deal with what happened. Customers who came to the store Monday morning were told it would reopen at 10 a.m.
According to statistics from the American Bar Association, approximately 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually in the United States. More than a thousand women are murdered every year by a spouse or partner. If you're in an abusive relationship, there is help available. Victims can call the National Domestic Violence hotline. Go to http://www.ndvh.org/ for more information.