A gunman killed an employee and a customer inside a supermarket before police shot and killed him Wednesday night in north-central Indiana, police said.
Indiana State Police were called to "an active shooter situation" at a Martin’s Super Market, at 3900 E. Bristol St., in Elkhart about 10 p.m., Sgt. Trent Smith said at a press conference near the crime scene.
The suspected gunman, 22-year-old Shawn Walter Bair, of Elkhart, walked into the store with a large semi-automatic handgun and shot a woman before walking about 12 aisles down and shooting another woman on the other end of the store, officials said.
The first victim was 20-year-old Krystle Dikes, a Martin's employee who was stocking shelves. Smith said surveillance cameras in the store showed Bair shooting her and then walking one aisle over and firing -- but missing -- a customer who ran away. Bair then walked down several aisles and fired "multiple times" at 44-year-old Rachelle Godfread. She died.
Smith said Bair was then confronted by the on-duty manager of the store. They exchanged words and the manager was ordered to a "praying position" on his knees. After about two minutes, Smith said Bair's attention was diverted by arriving officers from the Elkhart Police Department. It was at that point the manager was able to escape his captor and run out of the store unharmed.
The arriving officers then exchanged gunfire with Bair, killing him, Smith said, adding that the gunman was also armed with a large hunting knife.
"There's no doubt in my mind ... the bravery and the quick response of the Elkhart City Police Department saved lives. There's no doubt," said Smith. "From the time they entered the store to the time the shooter subdued is probably around one minute or so."
Surveillance cameras in the store showed about 12 to 15 people in the store at the time of the shooting, Smith said. He commended the employees seen on video who "corralled ... and pushed" patrons out of the store to safety.
"There's good stories even to come out of bad stories," he said.
Smith said Bair lived within two miles of the store and had never had a problem with the store's management. adding that authorities had no initial information about a motive.
"He was going to the store with a mission. As far as how in depth the planning phase was, if this was something he thought of today or six months ago, I can't really comment on that. We don't know at this point," said Smith.
Investigators were looking to see if there was some sort of connection between Bair and Dikes.
"She did not deserve this at all. Out of all the people, she did not deserve it. I don't know what his goal was, or what his aim was, mad at the world? There's definitely a family grieving for her," said Dikes' ex-boyfriend, Kyle Barnett.
Published reports note that Bair had a criminal history and may have spent time in a mental institution. His Facebook page showed had several posts related to serial killers.
Witnesses were being interviewed at the Elkhart police station. Additionally, Smith said several items that may be used as evidence where recovered from Bair's parent's home, where he lived.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is assisting with the investigation, according to a tweet from Tom Ahern with the ATF.
Representatives for Martin’s Super Market could not be reached early Thursday, but the company mentioned the incident Wednesday night in a post on its Facebook page.
"Thank you to our community for your thoughts and prayers tonight. We will comment further when we can do so responsibly and appropriately," the post said.
Indiana State Police and Elkhart police were investigating.