Figuring out what happened as a gunman opened fire in an Elkhart Martin’s Supermarket Wednesday night has been a lot easier than figuring out why it happened.
“We have not determined a motive, as I mentioned before. Things have kind of swung back and forth. As I last reported we didn’t believe that there was any connection between the shooter and one of the female victims however, some information has now come in from some other parts of the state that that might not be true-there might be some relationship,” said Indiana State Police Sgt. Trent Smith.
While Sgt. Smith has reviewed video from the store’s security cameras, the recordings have no audio.
While the gunman can clearly be seen threatening store employees, police could not hear the exact nature of those threats.
The video apparently does show that 22 year old Shawn Bair arrived at the store about a half hour before he ever fired a shot.
The video apparently shows Bair walking around and occasionally talking and texting on his cell phone before discharging his weapon at 10:05 p.m.
“I wouldn't say that it was well planned, but it was obviously thought out,” said Sgt. Smith. “He took his time you know I think he might have been hesitant but he was at the store and he was you know watching people or picking out people we'll never know.”
Police say Bair shot and killed 20 year old Martin’s employee Krystle Dikes and 44 year old shopper Rachelle Godfread, but two others in the store survived direct confrontations.
Police say Bair shot at another female store employee but missed, and that Bair was holding the male store manager hostage—at gunpoint--as police entered the building.
“Mr. Bair held the manager of the store hostage. He asked him to go to his knees. You could see the manager there in a praying position. It appeared to be we couldn’t hear the audio footage, but you could just see the position he was in,” said Sgt. Smith. You could see the shooter waving the gun around, pointing the gun at him and what appeared to be taunting him at times.”
Sgt. Smith says the video shows that the manager escaped as the first police officers entered the store.
“On the video, you could see the suspect all of the sudden divert his attention from the manager that was on the ground in front of him, on his knees, to the two police officers. And immediately the manager saw his attention was diverted and got up and ran,” said Sgt. Smith.
Police say between 12 and 15 people were inside the store at the time of the incident.