Gunman, two others dead in Indiana supermarket shooting

Thu Jan 16, 2014 3:05pm EST

Indiana State Police photo shows Shawn Walter Bair in this image released on January 16, 2014. REUTERS/Indiana State Police/Handout

Indiana State Police photo shows Shawn Walter Bair in this image released on January 16, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Indiana State Police/Handout

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(Reuters) - A 22-year-old man was identified by police on Thursday as the gunman who killed a shopper and an employee at an Indiana supermarket before police shot him dead.

Shawn Bair opened fire at Martin's Super Market in Elkhart, a city about 140 miles north of Indianapolis, around 10 p.m. on Wednesday when about a dozen people were in the store, police said.

Bair, wearing a heavy overcoat and armed with a 40-caliber semi-automatic handgun and a hunting knife, had been in the store for about 30 minutes when he killed his first victim - a 20-year-old female employee, Indiana State Police spokesman Trent Smith said.

Bair shot at another female employee, missing her, before moving to another part of the store where he shot a 44-year-old female shopper multiple times, killing her, Smith said.

The gunman then took hostage a store manager who was on his knees and appeared to be praying, Smith said. Two Elkhart police officers entered the store and caught the attention of Bair, allowing the manager to escape down one aisle as the assailant ran down another aisle.

Police then shot and killed Bair, Smith said. The events were partly caught on videotape.

There is some indication Bair knew one of the victims in the shooting, Smith said.

"I wouldn't say it was well planned but it was obviously thought out," Smith said. "At this point it is tough to say what his motive was. We don't even have all the pieces of the puzzle yet."

Police were withholding the victims' names, pending notification of their families.

"Obviously we have witnessed a senseless and tragic act of violence that has taken the lives of two people," Elkhart Mayor Dick Moore said at the press conference. "It's been a shock to our entire community."

What appears to be Bair's Facebook page contains disturbing, bloody images and posts, including a man's bloodied face. His "likes" include the National Rifle Association, God, and the National Association for Gun Rights.

Smith said Bair lived with his parents, whose home has been searched.

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle, Mary Wisniewski and Kevin Murphy, editing by Elizabeth Piper and Gunna Dickson)

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Comments (25)
AnotherAnon wrote:
Sad day indeed. Problems run deep in Elkhart.
Elkhart = One of the hardest hit areas by the current Great Recession and is also horrible for meth usage and labs.

Jan 16, 2014 5:40am EST  --  Report as abuse
Nope we do not have a gun violence problem in this country. /end sarcasm

Sad that we have tragedy after tragedy, yet we can not do anything about it because of one special interest group wants to keep it like the Wild West.

Jan 16, 2014 10:52am EST  --  Report as abuse
@jeffRW, of course the gun did not commit the crime moron, but easy access to guns, hand guns in particular, increases the chances of crimes becoming deadly. It really is not that hard to figure out.

This whole ‘guns don’t kill people, people do’ argument is just utter BS. Makes me sick that cause of people like you we are unable to enact sensible legislation that could lower the prevalence of guns in our society and make us ALL safer. The innocent victim’s blood is on your (and every other gun-nut not calling for sensible gun control) hands.

Jan 16, 2014 11:50am EST  --  Report as abuse
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