Police Kill Gunman Who Shoots 2 Women At Indiana Grocery
UPDATED: 1/16/2014 – 2:50 p.m.
ELKHART, Ind. (CBS) – A gunman shot and killed two people in a grocery store in Elkhart, Ind., on Wednesday, before turning his gun on responding police officers, who shot and killed the suspect.
Indiana State Police have identified the gunman as 22-year-old Shawn Walter Bair, who lived a few miles away from the store with his parents. The victims have been identified as 20-year-old Krystle Dikes, of Elkhart, a store employee; and 44-year-old Rachelle Godfread, 44, of Elkhart, a customer at the grocery.
CBS 2 learned that Bair knew Dikes because Bair’s mother worked at the store.
Police were heavily relying on surveillance video from inside the store to walk them through what happened at Martin’s Super Market, at 3900 E. Bristol St., a few minutes after 10 p.m.
Elkhart Police responded to a 911 call about shooting at Martin’s Super Market, at 3900 East Bristol St. in Elkhart, at 10:07 p.m. Wednesday.
Police said, around 10:05 p.m. Bair shot Dikes, while she was stocking groceries. He then walked to another aisle, where he saw another employee, and exchanged words with that person, who ran away. He fired at her, but missed.
He also brandished a large hunting knife while walking around the store.
Then about 12 aisles away from where he fired his first shots, he shot and killed Godfread, who apparently was shopping at the grocery.
Indiana State Police Sgt. Trent Smith credited a pair of store employees with saving lives, by helping people get out of the store after Bair began shooting. Smith said 12 to 15 people were inside the store at the time.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that there’s a couple employees that work for Martin’s Super Market — that I watched on the video footage — that waited to get out of the store, that helped some of the people get out of the store; kind of corralled them, and pushed them out of the store,” he said.
When police arrived a few minutes after Bair began shooting, he allegedly was holding the store’s manager hostage. He had ordered the manager on his knees, and was holding him at gunpoint, police said.
Bair then tried to flee, and pointed his gun at the officers, who shot and killed him.
Indiana State Police were investigating, because Elkhart police were involved in the shooting.
“Thankfully, the officers were fairly close on an unrelated call, and were able to respond here fairly quickly,” Smith said.
Friends of the store employee who died said she had only been working at the store for four months.
Police said there was no known motive in the shooting. Based on evidence found at Bair’s home, the crime was “well thought out,” police said.
At this time, police do not believe Bair knew any of the victims.
Police said the crime scene is huge, so investigators would be at the scene collecting evidence through the early morning.
“We do have a lot of things to look at as far as the video surveillance; a lot of people to talk to,” Smith said.
Employees told investigators there weren’t a lot of people in the store at the time of the shooting.
“Luckily it wasn’t 6 o’clock in the evening, when more people might be in there,” Smith said.
Police said it is too early to tell if it was a random shooting, but they said employees told officers Bair was a frequent customer at the store, and had never caused any trouble before.
The store will remain closed Thursday as police investigate.
In a statement, Martin’s Super Markets CEO Rob Bartels said, “The entire Martin’s family is saddened by this tragedy.”
“We will be offering counseling services to employees today and for as long as necessary. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families involved and the entire community. Additionally, we would like to thank everyone in the community for all your thoughts and prayers,” he added. “We know that the quick response from Elkhart Police saved lives, and for that we will be forever grateful. We appreciate the professional way in which both the Elkhart and Indiana State Police have handled the situation.”