Brought to you by WBIW News and Network Indiana
Last updated on Friday, January 17, 2014
(ELKHART) - Authorities say a gunman walked around a northern Indiana grocery store for about 30 minutes before he fatally shot two women and threatened at least two other people.
It happened just after 10 pm Wednesday inside the Martin's Super Market in Elkhart in the 3900 block of East Bristol Street, which is one the northeast side of the city.
State police Sgt. Trent Smith says 22-year-old Shawn Walter Bair of Elkhart first shot a 20-year-old store employee as she was stocking shelves at a Martin's Super Market in Elkhart late Wednesday.
Smith says Bair then walked to another aisle when he exchanged words with another employee who he shot at and missed while she ran away. He later shot a 44-year-old shopper several aisles away.
Smith says Bair had the store manager on his knees and was pointing a gun at him just before two Elkhart officers shot him.
20-year-old Krystle Dikes was a store employer. The other victim was a shopper. 44-year-old Rachelle Godfread.
Governor Mike Pence said he was deeply saddened by news of the incident.
The governor said in a statement Thursday that he also commends the Elkhart Police Department "for courageously intervening and bringing the incident to a swift conclusion."
Pence says he and his wife extend their condolences to the victims' families and are praying for the entire community.
Martin's CEO also commented on the incident, saying he's "forever grateful" officers responded quickly and killed the gunman.
Martin's Super Markets CEO Rob Bartels says that officers' quick response to Wednesday night's shooting at the Elkhart store saved lives.
He says the Elkhart store will remain closed Thursday and the South Bend-based supermarket chain will be offering employees counseling to help them deal with the workplace slayings.
Bartels says the company and its employees are saddened by the tragedy.
Indiana State Police are taking over the investigation as they often do when a local police officer kills a suspect.
Full statement from Martin's President and CEO:
"The entire Martin's family is saddened by this tragedy. We will be offering counseling services to employees today and for as long as necessary. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families involved and the entire community. Additionally, we would like to thank everyone in the community for all your thoughts and prayers," Bartels said.
"We know that the quick response from Elkhart Police saved lives, and for that we will be forever grateful. We appreciate the professional way in which both the Elkhart and Indiana State Police have handled the situation," Bartels continued.
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