Fred Meyer shooting suspect’s ex-landlord says he begged for gun to be taken after he tried to poison dogs

Court records show Bryant Scott filed a complaint for unlawful harassment against Aaron Christopher Kelly in October 2020 – 16 months before he allegedly opened fire inside a grocery store on Monday

Rachel Sharp
Tuesday 08 February 2022 17:32 GMT
Fred Meyer shooting: Worker critical and one dead in Washington

A former landlord of the suspected gunman in Monday’s shooting at a Fred Meyer grocery store has claimed that he begged authorities to take away his tenant’s firearm after he tried to poison his dogs.

Bryant Scott wrote in a now-deleted Facebook post, seen by, that Aaron Christopher Kelly refused to leave the property he rented to him, was “repeatedly attempting to murder my dogs” and waged a campaign of harassment against him and his friends during the pandemic.

Mr Scott said he filed for a restraining order against the 39-year-old and asked a judge to confiscate his weapon – but that both requests were denied.

Court records, obtained by The Independent, show that Mr Scott filed a complaint for unlawful harassment against Mr Kelly in Franklin Franklin County Superior Court in October 2020.

Now, 16 months on, Mr Kelly has been arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder after he allegedly opened fire inside a Fred Meyer store in Richland, Washington, on Monday.

Richland Police said they were called to the grocery store at around 11am on Monday morning to reports of shots being fired and found two victims suffering gunshot wounds.

Justin Krumbah, a 38-year-old Instacart shopper, died at the scene.

The second victim – a 56-year-old Fred Meyer employee who has not been identified – was rushed to hospital where he was in a critical condition.

Richland Police Commander Chris Lee said that surveillance footage showed the gunman and Mr Krumbah having  some sort of heated interaction before the shooting unfolded.

It is not clear if Mr Krumbah and the suspect knew each other prior to the shooting or what was said during the incident.

Aaron Kelly (left) is accused of shooting and killing Instacart shopper Justin Krumbah (right) (Richland WA Police Department)

Police launched a huge manhunt to track down the suspect who fled the scene before officers arrived.

Mr Kelly was arrested later on Monday around 130 miles away along Interstate 90 between Sprague and Spokane later that night.

According to Mr Scott, whose Facebook page says he is a former Marine from Kennewick, Washington, Mr Kelly was “deliberately being a nuisance” and showed “psychopathy”, “remorselessness” and “mental instability” when he was his tenant.

He claimed that the 39-year-old was “harassing my friends as well as due to him repeatedly attempting to murder my dogs”.

Mr Scott tried to evict Mr Kelly for around a year and a half but he refused to leave, he claimed.

When he tried to get a restraining order and requested that his gun be taken from him, Mr Scott said the judge “ignored my warning”.

“My stomach was in knots when I was told there is nothing they would do,” he wrote.

“The judge chose not to take any action on account he didn’t think the poison Aaron repeatedly tried to feed to my dogs could have killed them.”

He added that authorities told him “their hands were tied” and that they couldn’t “take away his means of violence”.

The landlord claimed that he was left with no choice but to sell his home “to get away” from Mr Kelly.

The Independent was not able to independently verify the contents of Mr Scott’s alleged post after it was taken down.

Court documents, released by Benton County Prosecutor’s Office, reveal that law enforcement reached out to Mr Scott following Monday’s shooting.

Mr Scott told officers Mr Kelly had been “mentally spiralling”, was “very paranoid” and that he had previously seen him with a 9mm handgun.

He recognised the man in the photo as Mr Kelly, the documents show.

Mr Kelly was booked into Benton County Jail on charges of first-degree murder and first-degree attempted murder, with his bond set at $1m.

He is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday afternoon.

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