(Reuters) – Police on Thursday identified a gunman and the two women he killed Wednesday night at a northern Indiana supermarket but shed no light on the motive for the rampage that ended when police shot him dead.
Shawn Bair, 22, entered Martin’s Super Market in Elkhart, Indiana, wearing a heavy overcoat and armed with a 40-caliber semiautomatic handgun and a hunting knife, Indiana State Police spokesman Trent 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.”
About a dozen people, including customers and employees, were in the store when Bair entered at about 10 p.m. (0300 GMT Thursday), Smith said. He waited about 30 minutes before he opened fire, killing Krystle Dikes, 20, an employee from Elkhart, Smith said.
Bair shot at another female employee, missing her, before moving to another part of the store where he shot customer Rachelle Godfread, 44, multiple times, killing the Elkhart woman, Smith said.
The attack, which was caught partly on videotape, continued with Bair taking hostage a store manager who was on his knees and appeared to be praying, authorities said.
Two Elkhart police officers entered the store and caught Bair’s attention, allowing the manager to escape down one aisle, Smith said. Bair ran down another aisle and was shot and killed by police in a confrontation, he said.
Smith said there was some indication Bair knew one of the women he killed.
Elkhart Mayor Dick Moore told a news conference that the shooting was a shock to the entire city. “Obviously, we have witnessed a senseless and tragic act of violence that has taken the lives of two people,” he said.
Elkhart is about 140 miles north of Indianapolis and has an estimated population of about 51,150.
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 Kevin Murphy in Kansas City, Mary Wisniewski in Chicago and Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Elizabeth Piper, Gunna Dickson and Jonathan Oatis)