Oregon Safeway shooting: Suspect identified as police praise ‘heroic’ grocery worker who died trying to disarm him

Ethan Miller, died of suspected self-inflicted gunshot wounds after killing two people in Bend, police say

Bevan Hurley
Monday 29 August 2022 22:05 BST
Authorities provide details of fatal shooting at Oregon Safeway

The gunman who killed two people when he opened fire on a Safeway grocery store with an AR-15-style weapon in Bend, Oregon, has been formally identified by police.

Bend Police Department said Ethan Blair Miller, 20, carried out the shooting alone.

His victims were named as Glenn Edward Bennett, 84, and Donald Ray Surrett Jr, 66, a Safeway employee who tried “heroically” to disarm the shooter and probably saved the lives of other shoppers, Bend Police Department spokeswoman Sheila Miller said at a press conference on Monday.

Ethan Miller was found dead in a produce aisle of suspected self-inflicted gunshot wounds by responding police officers, the spokeswoman said.

He had an AR-15-style gun and a rifle nearby, while police found three Molotov cocktails and a sawn-off shotgun in his truck.

Ms Miller said police were aware of reports that the shooter had posted writings online about wanting to carry out a separate attack at a high school.

They were investigating his digital footprint, but said they had no warnings of a possible mass shooting, and that Miller had no criminal record.

Police responded to the Forum Shopping Center in Bend, Oregon, located about 130 miles southeast of the state’s capital, Salem, after receiving multiple 911 calls shortly after 7pm local time on Sunday.

Ms Miller, Bend Police’s communications manager, said the shooter had been living at an address in the Fox Hollow Apartments, which back on to the mall.

On Sunday night at around 7pm, he entered the mall’s parking lot and began opening fire on customers.

He then entered the Safeway grocery store and shot and killed his first victim, Bend resident Glenn Edward Bennett. Emergency services provided first aid to Mr Bennett, and he was rushed to hospital where he was pronounced dead, police said.

The shooter then entered Safeway and went aisle to aisle, firing on customers and staff, police said.

Mr Surrett confronted the gunman and tried to wrestle his gun off of him.

“He acted heroically during this terrible incident,” and had likely saved lives, Ms Miller told the press conference.

Emergency personnel respond to a shooting that claimed the lives of two victims and the gunman at the Forum shopping center in east Bend, Oregon on Sunday

Police had received reports that there had been a second shooter, but police found no evidence of anyone else being involved.

Customer Molly Taroli, 40, was shopping for dinner with her husband when the shooter starting “spraying shots,” she told The Bulletin newspaper.

Taroli told the newspaper she took her own handgun from her purse, as employees yelled, “go, go, go!” as they tried to help people flee the store.

Josh Caba, another shopper in the store, told KTVZ he was with his four children when he heard multiple shots.

“I immediately turned to my children and said, ‘Run!’ People were screaming,” Caba told the news outlet. “It was a horrifying experience.”

The shooting is the fourth mass shooting at a grocery store in the US in less than a year.

Ten people were killed when a White supremacist opened fire at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, in May.

In March, 10 more people were killed at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado.

And last September, a shooter killed one and wounded 14 more in Collierville, Tennessee.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in