Oregon, Houston, Detroit, Phoenix: Shootings across the U.S.
A Safeway worker in Bend, Oregon attacked a gunman shooting up the store and may have saved lives before the killer fatally shot him, authorities said Monday.
The gunman killed two people but the carnage may have been worse had the employee not accosted the gunman in an attempt to disarm him in the produce section of the store, police said at a news conference.
The 66-year-old employee, identified as Donald Ray Surrett Jr., of Bend, was hailed as a hero by police. Surrett and a customer, 84-year-old Glenn Edward Bennett, also of Bend, were killed Sunday evening. Two others were injured.
“Mr. Surrett engaged with the shooter, attempted to disarm him and may very well have prevented further deaths. Mr. Surrett acted heroically turning this terrible event,” Bend Police spokeswoman Sheila Miller said at a news conference as she struggled against tears.
The deadly shooting was one of three in the U.S. over the weekend.
Police identified the Oregon gunman as 20-year-old Ethan Blair Miller, who died by suicide in the shooting, police said. Investigators are still trying to determine a motive.
On Sunday night, Miller fired shots inside a central Oregon grocery store about 160 miles southeast of Portland, killing two people – a customer and an employee – and injuring two others.
A search of the gunman’s vehicle found three Molotov cocktails, a sawed-off shotgun, additional ammunition and “digital devices,” according to police. He had no criminal history in the area and it’s unclear how he obtained the firearms.
Statements from the shooter led police to request the Oregon State Police bomb squad, who cleared the Safeway and the shooter’s apartment, according to authorities.
Police are investigating whether the gunman may have posted online prior to the shooting; they said they had found no evidence of previous threats by the shooter.
In Detroit, three people were killed and a man was injured in a shooting spree early Sunday. Following an hourslong search Sunday, authorities arrested a man believed to be responsible for the random shootings that began around 4:45 a.m.
The victims were a 40-year-old woman, a 28-year-old man and another woman in her 40s, according to authorities. A 76-year-old man survived.
Investigators traced the shootings to the same firearm, and police arrested a 19-year-old suspect after a 12-hour search Sunday following a tip from someone close to him. He was arrested at home.
He “terrorized our community,” Chief James White said.
In southwest Houston, authorities fatally shot a man Sunday who set an apartment building ablaze and shot five fleeing tenants, killing three.
The attack occurred around 1 a.m. Sunday. The gunman had been evicted from the apartment, and police believe he set fire to the building to lure out tenants and shoot them. He used a shotgun to kill two people at the scene, and another died in the hospital, according to officials.
Two men were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries, Houston Chief Troy Finner said. No firefighters or officers were hurt, he said.
In Phoenix, a man armed with a semi-automatic rifle fatally shot two people in a seemingly random attack Sunday night. Two officers were among five others injured, Phoenix police said in a statement Monday.
Nearby surveillance video showed the gunman leaving a motel room and shooting at random, the statement said. The shooter was seen firing into the motel before shooting into a car coming into the parking lot.
A man and a woman who were inside the car were shot and died on the scene, according to police. Three other men who were injured during the incident were taken to hospitals and have been released.
He fired shots at police arriving at the scene, authorities said. Surveillance footage showed him falling to the ground, and police say it appeared the gunman may have taken his own life.
Police said the man, who hadn’t been identified, was found with a rifle, several rifle magazines, incendiary devices, gas mask and helmet nearby.