Bend, Oregon shooting: Victim fought to disarm gunman in Oregon grocery store shooting that left 2 dead, police say
Two people were killed, police said. They were identified as Glenn Edward Bennett, 84, a customer who was shot outside the store, and Safeway employee Donald Ray Surrett Jr., 66, who fought the shooter in the produce section, Miller said.
“It was the Safeway employee who engaged with the shooter, i.e. he tried to disarm the shooter and attacked that person, and we believe he avoided other deaths in addition to the quick police response,” Miller said. “Mr. Surrett acted heroically during this terrible incident.”
“While we are still gathering the facts about last night’s shooting, it is clear that many more people could have been killed but for the heroism of Donald Ray Surrett, Jr., who stepped in to help arrest the shooter, and the officers who entered while shots were still being fired,” Brown’s statement said. “In the face of senseless violence, they acted with selfless bravery. Their courage saved lives.”
The shooter – identified by police as Ethan Blair Miller, 20 – was found dead at the scene and died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the police spokeswoman said.
Police found an AR-15 type rifle and a shotgun near Miller’s body, according to Bend Police Chief Mike Krantz.
The shooting took place shortly after 7 p.m. Sunday at a shopping mall, Krantz said. Police initially received information that there may have been more than one shooter, Sheila Miller said, but there is no evidence of a second shooter. There were reports of at least two other people who had injuries that were not life-threatening, she said.
The motive remains unclear, but police are aware of online posts that may be relevant, Sheila Miller said.
“We are aware that the shooter may have posted information online regarding his plan. We are investigating this. We have no evidence of prior threats or prior knowledge of the shooter. We have received information about the writings of the shooter after the incident and the shooter has no criminal history in the area,” Miller said.
Safeway said in a statement that the company was saddened by the “senseless violence”.
“Our thoughts and actions now are directed to supporting our associates, customers and the community affected by this tragedy. We thank Bend Police Department officers for their response and will continue to support the department’s investigation over the coming days. “, said the statement from the company.
How did the filming go
Miller said police received multiple gunshot calls around 7 p.m. at the Forum mall in northeast Bend.
The shooter entered from an apartment complex behind the mall, Miller said. He drove through the parking lot while firing an AR-15 type rifle before entering the Safeway.
Once inside, he shot a customer, Glenn Edward Bennett, who died while being taken to hospital, Miller said.
The shooter continued to force his way into the store before he got into a run-in with and fatally shot Donald Ray Surrett Jr., Miller said.
“As our officers were responding, they entered Safeway while shots were still being fired. They found the shooter apparent dead inside Safeway,” Miller said.
An AR-15 and a shotgun were found near the shooter’s body, Miller said. Bend police did not fire any shots, she said.
How the shooter obtained firearms is under investigation. Due to the online posts, Bend police also contacted the Oregon State Police bomb squad, which cleared the grocery store and apartment complex, Miller said.
Police said it was unclear how many people were in the store at the time of the shooting.
Officers were on the scene within three minutes of the first 911 call, Miller said. It took four minutes from when officers were dispatched to when the shooter’s body was found, police said.
The shooter published his plans online
A search warrant was served on the shooter’s vehicle and home, Miller said. Investigators found three Molotov cocktails in his car as well as a sawed-off shotgun. The police are working with the ATF to find out if the guns were legal.
In his apartment, authorities found additional ammunition and digital devices which are currently being examined.
CNN has identified several blog entries appearing to belong to Ethan Miller that were posted on the “Wattpad” blogging site detailing his plan and the reasons for the shooting. The posts have since been deleted and CNN has contacted the blogging site.
Miller posted his first blog on June 29, when he blamed Covid-19 and quarantine for worsening his mental health.
Initially, Miller had planned a shooting inside a high school on Sept. 8, according to the posts.
Over 35 posts have been posted in the past two months. Most indicated his desire to commit acts of violence.
A post said he was “partially inspired” by the Columbine High School shooting.
In other posts, Miller cited several reasons why he became a “ticking time bomb,” including his family and love life, which he detailed in a July 8 post.
He wrote that he bought a shotgun and an AR-15 for the shoot and said he hoped to kill over 40 people.
Miller also references other mass shootings throughout his entries.
“I immediately turned to my kids and said, ‘Run! “”
Customers and employees described a chaotic scene at Safeway, saying they rushed for safety as bullets flew.
“We started heading towards the front. Then we heard I don’t know how many gunshots from the front – six or seven. I immediately turned to my children and said, ‘Run! People were screaming…it was a horrible experience,” Caba told KTVZ.
Caba said he was worried about his wife, who stayed in the car because she wasn’t feeling well. But as he and three of his children fled through the exit doors near the fresh produce section, he discovered that his wife had gone to the back of the store and was “sitting in the car, saying “Get in the car! Get in the car! ‘” KTVZ reported.
The father was able to rush into the store and find their fourth child, he told KTVZ.
“I and three other employees ran into a walk-in fridge and closed the door and stayed there and hid until authorities arrived,” he said.
A third person was struck and was in good condition at St. Charles Medical Center, spokeswoman Lisa Goodman said.
Residents of the central Oregon city were stunned by the shooting.
“I heard between five and eight shots. I thought it sounded like flashback,” Heather Thompson, who lives across the street, told the Central Oregon Daily News.
“Within a minute there were 10 to 20 shots, then another 10 to 20 shots,” she said. “And then I walked in and told my dad to get away from the window. And people were running out of Safeway.”
CNN’s Holly Yan and Elizabeth Wolfe contributed to this report.