Goshen News, Goshen, IN

January 16, 2014

Identity of Martin's shooter released


ELKHART — Indiana State Police Sgt. Trent Smith announced the name of the shooter in the Martin's Super Market killings Wednesday night in a press conference at the Indiana State Police post in Bristol.

The shooter has been identified as Shawn Walter Bair, 22, Elkhart.

Elkhart police received a 911 call at 10:07 p.m. Wednesday, Smith said. The incident began several minutes before then.

In footage from Martin's Super Market's security camera, Smith said, the suspect entered at 9:30 p.m. Bair is a known individual of that store. He often walks around in that communtiy, Smith said.

He was in there for about 30 minutes, walking around in the store. He was being watched by one of the security guards in the store because he wasn't buying anything, Smith said. Bair was making a few text messages or phone calls in that time frame.

At approx 10:05 p.m. things started to change, Smith said. Bair had an overcoat on which had his weapons. The first person killed was a 20-year-old woman who worked as a stocker. She had worked there for a short amount of time, Smith said.

Bair shot  her and then police believe he walked aaround another aisle and saw another employee. There was a verbal exchange, she ran and he fired and missed. She ran out of the store.

Bair continued walking through the store and went several aisles down. There were about 12 to 15 people in the store at the time, Smith said.

"It was not heavily populated thankfully," Smith said.

In a few seconds, the people in the store had an idea something was wrong. People started leaving the store.

Bair then walked to the west end of the store, where a 44-year old female was and shot her multiple times. As he approached the south end of the store near checkout, Bair was confronted by the  manager. The manager was one of the last people in the store.

As the manager walked down the aisle the shooter turned the gun right at him. From 10:08 to 10:10 p.m., Bair held the manager of the store hostage and asked him to go to his knees, Smith said, adding the on the video you can see the manager in a praying position. We see the shooter waving the gun around and taunting him at times, Smith said.

Thankfully police were already in the area, he added.

A 911 phone call was received at 10:07 p.m. Police were in the area already. As they approached the store and walked in through front door they could see where suspect was at. He could see the officers come in.

The manager ran and the suspect ran, Smith said. The manager was able to escape. The suspect stopped for a little while did some things with the gun and brandished his hunting knife. Police tried to clear the aisles as they went after Bair. As they entered the last aisle, the police and Bair were 10 to 15 feet from each other and shots were fired, Smith said.

Smith commended the the bravery and quick reaction of the Elkhart Police Department and added there were a couple of employees who knew what was happening and stayed to help get people out of the store.

As far as releasing the names, Smith said police are having trouble getting ahold of next of kin. The release of names will probably happen later today, he added.

Bair was living with parents, Smith said. Police have searched the home and some evidence has been recovered.

He also said that there may be a connection between the shooter and one of the victims. Police are still investigating that though.