Heroic Bend Safeway employee tried to disarm gunman in store
BEND Ore. (KPTV) - UPDATE: Police have identified the shooter at a Bend supermarket as 20-year-old Ethan Blair Miller, of Bend.
At a news conference Monday afternoon, the Bend Police Department said Miller killed himself at the scene as officers arrived after killing two people in the store and firing several rounds from an “AR-15 style” rifle.
The victims were Glen Edward Bennett, 84, a man who was shot and killed at the front of the store and Donald Ray Surrett, 66, a man who was a Safeway employee shot and killed at the back of the store. Surett reportedly attempted to disarm the shooter before he was shot.
Police said the entire parking lot around the shopping center would be closed Monday and Tuesday.
ORIGINAL: Three people, including the suspect, have died following a shooting at a shopping center in Bend Sunday evening.
Bend police reported that at about 7 p.m., they responded to reports of an active shooter in the area of the Forum Shopping Center. The shooter was believed to have entered the shopping center parking lot at 2550 Northeast Highway 20 from the back side by Costco and then fired shots into Big Lots. The shooter then entered the west entrance of Safeway.
After shooting one person at the grocery store entrance, the shooter moved deeper into the store where he shot and killed a second person.
Police said they heard gunshots when they entered the Safeway, but found the suspected shooter, a man, already dead. They said they found an assault-style rifle and a shotgun near his body.
Medics transported the initial person shot to a nearby hospital where the victim was declared dead. Police said there was one other person with non-life-threatening injuries.
Police said officers did not fired any shots at the scene.
This is an active investigation and police are obtaining search warrants for the suspected shooter’s residence. Police are asking anyone with information about the event to contact them.
Oregon state leaders are sharing their condolences for those affected by the shooting. U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley took to Twitter, writing “My heart breaks for the families of the victims and the many people whose routine Sunday evening shopping turned into a terrifying run for their lives in Bend.”
Senator Ron Wyden also took to Twitter, saying: “The Oregonians who went to shop or to work at the Bend shopping center where last night’s mass shooting happened need our thoughts and actions. America cannot just shrug its shoulders at another mass shooting with loved ones grieving the loss of family and friends.”
Workers union, UFCW Local 555, representing some employees at the Safeway released a statement Monday morning.
“As the Union representing Grocery workers at Safeway, UFCW Local 555 is heartbroken to see American workers once again face the unthinkable. In retail spaces, gun violence is becoming increasingly common. What should have just been a normal evening erupted into a mass shooting event that cut lives short, and will forever leave scars in the community. Retail workers should not go to work facing violence, and deserve more protection than our society has chosen to afford them.”
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