3 dead at Martin's Super Market in Elkhart, suspect identified

ELKHART, Ind. — Three people are dead, including the shooter, after the gunman opened fire inside the Martin's Super Market on East Bristol Street Wednesday night. 

Police identified the suspect as Shawn Walter Bair of Elkhart.

Elkhart police confirmed an active shooter situation was reported just after 10 p.m. at the store.

The Indiana State Police, who took over the investigation, described what happened in a press conference early Thursday morning. 

Sgt. Trent Smith with ISP spoke with reporters saying that a police officer ended the situation by shooting the suspect. The suspect had the gun pointed at another person when he was taken down. 

ISP said the 22 year old suspect was armed with a .40 caliber semi automatic handgun and a large hunting knife.

A 44 year old female shopper and 20 year old female employee are among the dead, according to Smith; a motive is still unknown. 

Police add, as of 7:30 Thursday morning, they do not believe the shooter knew any of the victims.

Early Thursday morning the notification process to the victims families was taking place. The name of the suspect and victims have not been released. 

Smith said the gun and a large knife were found near the gunman.

The super market was open at the time of the shooting, although workers told investigators that it wasn't that busy at that time. 

Crime scene techs and up to seven detectives with the state police are on the scene collecting evidence.

The crime scene is described as large. One of the victims was shot in an aisle, the other shot about 10 to 12 aisles away. 

Smith said several shots were fired, both by the suspect and police. He said there are shell casings everywhere. 

Detectives are hoping that surveillance video inside the store will help them with a time-line of events. They said there are numerous cameras and they will spend quite a bit of time going over the footage. 

Martin's released the following statement:

Martin’s Super Markets located at 3900 E. Bristol Street in Elkhart will remain closed today after the tragic events of last night.  “The entire Martin’s family is saddened by this tragedy,” says Rob Bartels, Martin’s President & CEO.  “We will be offering counseling services to employees today and for as long as necessary. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families involved and the entire community. Additionally, we would like to thank everyone in the community for all your thoughts and prayers,” adds Bartels.

Martin’s has been and will continue to coordinate with police authorities as necessary. “We know that the quick response from Elkhart Police saved lives, and for that we will be forever grateful. We appreciate the professional way in which both the Elkhart and Indiana State Police have handled the situation,” says Bartels.

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