Survivors, community members hold vigil for Safeway shooting victims

Published: Aug. 29, 2022 at 9:56 PM PDT
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BEND, Ore. (KPTV) - A community vigil was held to remember the two victims killed in a shooting Sunday night at a Bend Safeway.

Bend police say just after 7 p.m. that evening, a 20-year-old gunman opened fire at the Forum Shopping Center Safeway, killing two men before taking his own life.

Investigators are expected to keep the area around the Safeway closed off into Tuesday to try to piece together what happened.

In light of the chaos, the community came together to support one another at Drake Park Monday night.

Dozens gathered to remember the two victims: 84-year-old Glen Edward Bennet, and 66-year-old Donald Surrett, a Safeway employee.

Jeremiah Weeks was at the vigil with a group of people who appeared to be Safeway employees.

Weeks says he came to the vigil because he was at the Forum Shopping Center Safeway when the shooting started, narrowly escaped, but wanted to show support for the workers he sees there all the time.

“I was there and I had a story to share,” said Weeks. “I felt like I could be encouraging, I felt like I could be there for people.”

Weeks says he was listening to music while he was shopping and didn’t hear the first round of gunfire, and all of a sudden he says he saw people running and took his headphones off, and another customer stopped him.

“He was like ‘there’s a shooter!’ and he was like super frantic and he just like booked it,” said Weeks. “And I instantly was just like assessing what was going on and I was in shock. I started hearing gunshots at that point and I didn’t know where the shooter was.”

Jeremiah would luckily make it out okay, but he says he’s still in disbelief after this tragedy. It’s something he never thought he would have to endure.

“I was there after a workout to go get some snacks and all of the sudden I’m a subject and potential victim in a grocery store assault.”

Judy Hurlburt is a Bend resident who attended the vigil to grieve with her community.

“We can’t react with fear and more guns doesn’t make it go away,” said Hurlburt. “And we have to act with compassion.”

Police also say the shooter lived in apartments behind the Safeway, and was found with an AR-15 style rife and a shotgun next to his body.

Bend police also have called Donald Surrett, the Safeway employee who was killed, a hero, saying he lost his life while trying to stop the shooter and possibly saved many others.

Bend Police are asking anyone with information on the shooting to call a tip line at 541-322-6380