The first shots were fired around 7:04 p.m., cops said, as Miller left his home in the Fox Hollow apartments on the sidewalk of the Forum mall in Bend. He fired shots with an AR-style rifle in Big Lots before moving to Safeway. Miller shot and killed Bennet, a shopper in the entrance, before heading to the back of the store. Surret Jr., a Safeway employee, allegedly tried to disarm Miller before he was shot and killed.
“Surrett engaged with the shooter, attempted to disarm him, and could very well have prevented further deaths. Mr. Surrett acted heroically during this terrible incident,” Bend PIO Miller told a press briefing. hurry.
Police reported that two other victims suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Miller died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the produce section of Safeway, near where Surret Jr. confronted the shooter. Police arrived on the scene within three minutes after gunshots were reported, entering the building while shots were still being fired, finding Miller deceased with an AR rifle and a shotgun from 12 gauge. PIO Miller said the time of the first expedition to find Miller’s body was about four minutes.
Police began locking down the area after hearing reports of a second shooter. BPD says there is no evidence to suggest there was a second shooter, or that any shootings took place in the Reed Market area, as was widely shared on social media the night of the shooting at Safeway.
The shooter’s statements prompted BPD to contact the Oregon State Police bomb squad, which cleared Safeway and the Fox Hollow building of the shooter. A search of the shooter’s vehicle uncovered three Molotov cocktails, a sawed-off shotgun, “digital devices” and additional ammunition.
The scene was still under investigation and PIO Miller expects the investigation in the area to remain active through Tuesday. It is unclear how the shooter obtained the weapons, and BPD has partnered with the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to determine how he obtained the weapons. PIO Miller asked anyone with relevant information to contact them at 541-322-6380.
Two mental health workers and professionals will be stationed at Mick’s Drive at the Forum to return property left at the store and cars left in the parking lot.
Police have not confirmed whether a since-deleted manifesto attributed to Miller posted on Wattpad, an online social reading platform, just before the shooting was legitimate.
The manifesto described how the post’s author purchased an AR-15 and a 12-gauge shotgun and built a sawed-off shotgun and Molotov cocktails, details unknown to the public until Monday’s press conference. The manifesto, titled “The Downward Spiral of Ethan Miller,” said the message’s original target author was Mountain View High School on September 8, the first day of the school year. In the manifesto, he decried COVID laws, the lack of meaningful friendships and love, and his distaste for modern society while fantasizing about mass violence against innocent people.
Following the shooting, local and state officials mourned the loss of Bennet and Surrett Jr. Governor Kate Brown asked Oregonians to keep the victims in their thoughts and hearts and congratulated Surrett Jr. for confronting the shooter. Rep. Jason Kropf (D-Bend) offered his condolences to the victims and their families, shared his appreciation for first responders, hospital workers and store workers who kept people safe, and reaffirmed his commitment to ending gun violence. Bend Mayor Pro Tem Anthony Broadman released a statement and later spoke at a press conference on Monday.
“We must guard against the cynicism of thinking that these attacks on peace and order are inevitable regular things. I will not accept that, and I know the community of Bend will not accept that either,” he said. Broadman said at the press conference.
A community vigil was scheduled from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday to honor Surrett Jr. and Bennet.