December 1, 2022

One of the people killed during Sunday’s shooting at an Oregon Safeway supermarket was an employee who confronted and tried to disarm the gunman, likely preventing more deaths, police said on Monday. 

At a presser on Monday, Bend Police identified the two shooting victims as 84-year-old Bend resident Glenn Edward Bennett, who was shopping at the time of the attack, and 66-year-old Safeway employee Donald Ray Surrett Jr., who was hailed as a hero for attempting to disarm the shooter. 

“This is the Safeway employee who engaged with the shooter, which is to say he attempted to disarm the shooter and attacked this person, and we believe he prevented further deaths in addition to the quick police response,” Bend County Police Department communications director Sheila Miller told reporters. 

Police identified the shooting suspect as 20-year-old Ethan Blair Miller, and said he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. 

Miller said when police entered the Safeway they found Miller deceased near an AR-15-style weapon and a shotgun. Police said officers didn’t fire any shots. 

Two other people suffered non-life threatening injuries in the shooting, police said. 

Following a search warrant, authorities said they found three Molotov cocktails and a sawed-off shotgun in Miller’s car and additional ammunition in his apartment. Police are currently working with ATF to determine if the shooter’s guns were acquired legally, they said. 

The incident unfolded shortly after 7 p.m. on Sunday, when Bend Police received a call about a gunman who came from a residential area behind the Forum Shopping Center and moved through the parking lot shooting rounds from an AR-15 style rifle. The shooter then entered the Safeway grocery store and shot Bennett inside the entrance and continued firing inside the store, fatally shooting Surrett in the produce aisle. 

Police said they are working through what the shooter may have posted online, including a possible manifesto, and are investigating whether he had any possible connection to the Safeway or what his motive might have been. 

“We are aware that the shooter may have posted information online regarding his plan. We’re investigating this,” Miller told reporters. “We have no evidence of previous threats or prior knowledge of the shooter. We received information about the shooter’s writings after the incident had taken place. And the shooter has no criminal history in the area.”

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