Instacart donates $50,000 to family of worker killed in shooting at Fred Meyer store

Justin Krumbah, 38, died on Monday after suspected gunman Aaron Christopher Kelly shot him multiple times in a supermarket aisle

Rachel Sharp
Friday 11 February 2022 15:10
Richland Police hold press conference following arrest of Fred Meyer shooting suspect

Instacart has donated $50,000 to the family of a shopper killed in a shooting at a Fred Meyer store in Richland, Washington.

Justin Krumbah, 38, died on Monday after suspected gunman Aaron Christopher Kelly shot him multiple times in an aisle of the supermarket.

Police said the Instacart shopper, who was described as a “breath of fresh air” by customers, was seen on surveillance footage having a “10 to 15 second interaction” with the suspect just moments before he opened fire at around 11am local time.

The suspect then allegedly shot Fred Meyer employee Mark Hill close to the customer service counter. Mr Hill remains in a critical condition in hospital after undergoing surgery.

Mr Kelly was arrested hours later 130 miles away from the store along Interstate 90 between Sprague and Spokane following a huge manhunt.

Instacart made the $50,000 donation, labeled “Instacart Team”, on Thursday to a GoFundMe page set up to help Mr Krumbah’s family pay for funeral expenses for the 38-year-old.

The company had released a statement in the aftermath of the shooting saying it was “heartbroken” to learn about the death of a worker and had reached out to the victim’s family.

“We are heartbroken as we mourn the loss of a member of the Instacart shopper community. Our deepest sympathies go out to Justin Krumbah’s family and loved ones, and all those grieving in the aftermath of this tragic shooting,” CEO Fidji Simo said in the statement.

“We’ve reached out to Justin’s family to offer our support and ensure they have the resources they need during this incredibly difficult time.

“We’re also in touch with members of the Instacart shopper community who were in the Richland area at the time of this incident to make sure they have the time and resources they need as they work to process and recover from these terrible events.”

Instacart donated $50,000 to help the family of Justin Krumbah

The GoFundMe had reached more than $103,000 in donations as of Friday morning in memory of the popular Instacart shopper, with heartbroken customers remembering him as a “breath of fresh air” with a “positive, can do attitude”.

Donor Anna Michele Berens described the 38-year-old as “sunshine” who will “truly be missed”.

“I use Insta cart a lot, and Justin was always a breathe of fresh air, and sunshine. Just so sad,” she wrote.

“Heartfelt sympathy to his family. He will truly be missed. I’m so sorry. Hugs.”

A Fred Meyer employee also paid tribute to the Instacart shopper who he said was “an absolute joy” to work with and “always had a smile on his face”.

“I had the pleasure of meeting Justin over the last month or so as he’d been coming to the store every day I was working,” wrote Alexander Weeks.

“He always had a smile on his face and was an absolute joy to be around.

“He was far and away one of my favorite parts of coming in and made those extra hard days seem not so bad. He will be missed dearly by everyone at FM.”

Mr Krumbah had spoken of his passion for his job on his Facebook page just weeks before his killing in the store.

Justin Krumbah shared a photo of himself smiling cheerily dressed in his work apron in his last social media post

In his last post before he died, he had shared a photo of him smiling cheerily dressed in his work apron.

“Hi ho, hi ho, off to work I go!” he captioned the photo, posted on 26 January.

The enthusiastic worker spoke of his “pride” in his job when a friend commented that he wears an apron.

“I take pride in my work no matter what I do!” he responded.

“Always gotta be professional!! And it’s sped up my production time also!!”

Several people paid tribute to him in the comments of the photo following his death, recalling their positive encounters with him through his work.

“You were our Instacart delivery driver everytime we shopped at Fred Meyer. You always sent a message when you accepted our order and said it was a pleasure to shop for us again,” wrote Stephanie McCarl.

“I never got to meet you but your friendly messages made my day everytime we used instacart. The world lost a light today.”

Nancy Stratton paid tribute to his “upbeat attitude” and told how she and her husband wished he could be their regular shopper.

“Justin, I’m a 63-year old person and you made my Instacart experience the best ever last week,” she wrote.

“I told my husband that I wanted you to be our "instacart shopper" but that wasn’t possible.

“Your positive, upbeat attitude and pro-active approach to resolving some pricing issues were unbelievable. I will miss you. God Bless.”

Suspect Aaron Christopher Kelly appears in court on 8 February to face charges for the shooting at a Fred Meyer store in Richland, Washington

A GoFundMe page to help with Mr Hill’s medical expenses had topped $36,000 on Friday.

Investigators do not believe Mr Kelly knew his victims prior to Monday’s attack but was known to Fred Meyer employees as a suspected shoplifter at the store.

Richland Police Interim Chief Brigit Clary said that the suspect had been “in decline over the last few weeks and months” and had been “distancing himself from friends and family” before allegedly carrying out the shooting.

He faces charges of first-degree murder and first-degree attempted murder and his bond was set at $1m.

Mr Kelly is scheduled to appear in court for his arraignment on 23 February.

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