Prosecutor: Elkhart Cops Were Justified Shooting Gunman In Supermarket Slayings
ELKHART, Ind. (CBS) — An Indiana prosecutor has decided police were justified in the fatal shooting of a young man who had killed two women at a grocery store in Elkhart in January.
Shawn Walter Bair, 22, walked into Martin’s Super Market on Jan. 15, and shot and killed 20-year-old Krystle Dikes, a store employee; and 44-year-old Rachelle Godfread, a customer at the store.
He then shot at another employee, and took the store manager hostage as police arrived at the store. When he turned his gun on the two Elkhart police officers who responded to the attack, they shot him several times.
WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports Elkhart County Prosecutor Curtis Hill concluded the police officers were justified in their actions, and will not seek charges against them.
Hill said Bair was carrying a note that included his intent to kill himself, messages to family, and a vulgar statement about his dislike of people in general.
Hill said authorities don’t know how Bair’s thoughts of suicide turned to homicide, but his investigation determined Bair “had some suicidal tendencies and some apparent mental issues and deficiencies over a period of time.”
Bair was texting his mother as he walked around the store before opening fire, asking if she was going there, Hill said.
After killing Dikes and Godfread, he shot at another employee, then held a gun to the manager’s head as officers rushed in. That’s when he pointed his gun at police, and officers shot him. He also shot himself as police opened fire, and was killed – either by his own hand, or by the officers’ bullets.
Hill said the employee Bair tried to shoot, but failed to hit, saved lives by getting people out of the store after he fired the first shot.
“She was screaming ‘active shooter!’ and as she ran out, he took a shot at her, missed, she continued to run. She was able to help clear people out of that store. Those were other victims,” he said.
The two officers who rushed in fired 10 shots between them, while he shot himself once in the head, so it’s unclear which shot was the one that killed him.