Employee who attempted to disarm gunman among those killed in Oregon grocery store shooting: police

Safeway employee Donald Ray Surrett likely saved other lives, officials say.

ByHeather Roberts, Morgan Winsor and Kyla Guilfoil ABCNews logo
Tuesday, August 30, 2022
Police hail Oregon supermarket shooting victim a hero
An employee who attempted to disarm the gunman was among the victims of a deadly shooting inside a Safeway supermarket in Bend, Oregon.

BEND, Ore. -- An employee who attempted to disarm a gunman was among the victims of a deadly shooting inside a Safeway supermarket in Oregon on Sunday evening, police said.

The incident was reported just after 7 p.m. local time at The Forum Shopping Center in Bend, a small city about 130 miles southeast of Oregon's capital, Salem. Two people were killed in the Safeway, and the armed suspect was also found dead inside the store from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to the Bend Police Department's communications director, Sheila Miller.

Miller released the identities of the two victims during a press conference on Monday: 84-year-old Bend resident Glenn Edward Bennett and 66-year-old Bend resident and Safeway employee Donald Ray Surrett. Two others suffered non-life-threatening injuries, Miller said.

When asked for comment, a Safeway spokesperson told ABC News in a statement on Monday: "We are deeply saddened by the senseless violence at our Safeway store on Highway 20 in Bend, Oregon, including the loss of a customer and a valued member of our team. Our thoughts and actions now are directed toward supporting our associates, customers, and the community affected by this tragedy. We thank the officers at the Bend Police Department for their response and will continue to support the department's investigation over the coming days."

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The alleged gunman was also identified on Monday as 20-year-old Bend resident Ethan Blair Miller, who lived near the shopping center, according to Miller.

Police believe the suspect entered from the back of the shopping center on Sunday evening and initially fired into a Costco parking lot and a Big Lots store. There were no injuries reported at either of those locations, Miller said.

Police believe the suspect then entered the Safeway and shot Bennett near the west entrance. Bennett was transported to a local hospital where he was confirmed dead, according to Miller.

The suspect continued inside the supermarket, shooting and killing Surrett, who attempted to disarm him and likely saved other lives, Miller said.

Police officers responding to the shooting entered the Safeway and found the alleged gunman dead inside the store. The officers fired no shots, according to Miller.

At a press conference late Sunday, Bend Police Chief Mike Krantz said the suspect was carrying an AR-15-style rifle and a shotgun. Miller told reporters Monday that investigators are working to determine how the suspect obtained the weapons.

Krantz also noted the size of the crime scene, saying it will take time to collect and process all the evidence. He told reporters Monday that investigators have not yet determined a motive for the deadly shooting.

ABC News' Marilyn Heck and Flor Tolentino contributed to this report.

Surveillance footage later revealed that the suspect had turned the gun on himself, Miller said.