Three people, including the suspected shooter, are dead following an attack Sunday night at a grocery store in central Oregon, police said.
Officers were dispatched to the Safeway at the Forum Shopping Center shortly after 7 p.m. after receiving reports of shots fired, the Bend Police Department said in a statement.
Shooting rounds from an AR-15-style rifle, the gunman was believed to have begun the attack in the store’s parking lot before moving inside, according to police.
Customer Glenn Edward Bennett, 84, was shot inside the entrance, police said Monday. Medics took that victim to a hospital, but the person was declared deceased, police said.
An employee, 66-year-old Donald Ray Surrett Jr., was fatally wounded while trying to disarm the shooter, police said Monday.
“Police believe the shooter continued firing through the store, shooting and killing an additional person,” the department said.
Dexter Chamberlin said he was checking out at the Safeway when he heard gunfire.
“We started running out the back emergency exit telling other people to do the same,” he said. “We ran to a nearby apartment complex and hid behind some building with about a dozen other people.”
It was not immediately clear how the suspected shooter, who was identified only as a male, died, but police said they did not open fire during their response.
Earlier, a spokesperson for St. Charles Bend medical center said the facility had received one patient from the attack who was dead on arrival. Another patient was said to be in good condition.
Authorities later announced that three people, including the suspected shooter, had died in a tweet at around 9:15 p.m. local time Sunday (12:15 a.m. ET Monday).
Speaking at a news conference Sunday night, Bend Police Chief Mike Krantz said police were working with a “very large crime scene” in the ongoing investigation into the attack.
He said police were doing everything they could to follow up on potential leads and were “aware of other information floating around on social media” about the suspected shooter. He also said police were aware of reports of other possible shootings in town, but had found no evidence of additional incidents.
“We know that this is a frightening thing for our community and something that we would never want to happen in our city,” he said.
Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., offered his condolences to the families of the victims in a tweet late Sunday as he called on Americans to “come together” to bring an end to gun violence in the U.S.
“My heart breaks for the families of the victims and the many people whose routine Sunday evening shopping turned into a terrifying run for their lives in Bend,” Merkley said.
“This doesn’t have to happen. It’s not normal in any other country,” he said. “High-powered assault rifles with high-capacity magazines, combined with personal grievances and often a culture of hate, create a toxic stew that leaves good people, innocent people dead, maimed, and traumatized.”
“We need to come together — Democrats and Republicans, urban and rural, Black and white and brown and Asian American and Native American, and including the many responsible gun owners — and put an end to this madness,” Merkley said.
Gemma DiCasimirro, Cristian Santana, Colin Sheeley and Chantal Da Silva contributed.