BEND, OR -- Bend Police released surveillance footage from the August fatal shooting at Safeway, Thursday, as the investigation comes to a close. In addition to at least 90 videos collected during the investigation, Bend Police say they logged another 173 pieces of evidence.
Bend PD's Sheila Miller says the extensive footage available from nearby Costco and Big Lots, as well as an apartment’s Ring camera and security cameras inside Safeway were critical to piecing together what happened. "It confirms that the suspect acted alone; it confirms that he got to Safeway on foot by walking through the shopping complex. And, it also confirms that he died by suicide at the end of the incident," she tells KBND News, "We ran down a lot of rumors and a lot of suggestions that there were additional people involved. And this helped us confirm that none of that is the case." The video released to the public has no audio and all faces are redacted, covered with a black square.
The video sheds light on the shooter's movements just after 7 p.m. Sunday, August 28, "That starts at the apartment complex, moves through the Forum Shopping Center, into Safeway," says Miller. The gunman is seen shooting out windows of the Big Lots before getting to the grocery store. Once inside Safeway, he's seen firing at shopper Glenn Bennett, who died at the scene. The gunman then randomly fires at store shelves, moving through the store. He interacts with another shopper laying on the floor and fires a shot near his feet.
About 70 seconds after entering the store, the shooter is confronted by produce worker Donald Surrett. Chief Mike Krantz tells KBND News, "Mr. Surrett obviously was aware something was going on. He made the decision to take action by hiding behind a rollable or moveable shelving unit and then, as the shooter approached him or passed him, Mr. Surrett attempts to attack him to try to disarm him." Surrett was shot and killed in the struggle.
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About a minute later, the shooter sits down on the floor and turns the gun on himself as police enter the store. "What the video shows is that the four initial officers that went in, went in on their own without waiting for a whole team or additional units," says Krantz. "What happens in those scenarios, or those incidents, when an officer goes in, they don’t know exactly where a suspect may be, so they’re listening for indicators as to where to go. And the video shows the officers going in one direction, they hear an indicator, they immediately change directions and approach and then confront, at that point, the shooter who had already committed suicide." Police reports also released Thursday reveal around 30 off-duty Bend officers arrived to the scene after the initial response by on-duty teams.
Chief Krantz says the video’s release is in response to public records requests by the media, "This is material that we felt we were obligated to release, legally. However, we also feel that it’s pretty horrific material; it’s violence that doesn’t need to be really released into the world, and it doesn’t need to be watched by people." KBND News will not name the shooter nor provide the footage released Thursday.
Bend Police say they provided advance notice of the video's release to Safeway management and the District Attorney's Victims Assistance office, who made sure the victims' families were made aware. Additional support is available at the Community Assistance Center on Friday, December 2 through Sunday, December 4, from 3-7 p.m. at the Crisis Stabilization Center (63311 NE Jamison St. Bend). Other mental health resources are available HERE.