Watch CBS News

Suspect caught hours after man killed in shooting at a Washington Fred Meyer grocery store

get the free app
  • link copied

At least one person was killed and another wounded in a shooting at a Fred Meyer grocery store in Richland, Washington, on Monday afternoon, police said. The suspect, Aaron Christopher Kelly, 39, was captured hours later on an interstate northeast of Richland.

Kelly allegedly entered the store at 11:01 a.m., pushing a cart with a duffel bag and a backpack, Richland police officials said at a news conference Tuesday. He encountered 38-year-old Justin Krumbah minutes later, and the two had a 10-15 second interaction before Kelly opened fire, police said. The specifics of the interaction were not clear, though police said they do not believe Kelly had any prior connection to either of the victims.   

Officers responded soon after. Krumbah was pronounced dead at the scene, and another victim was transported to a local hospital where they remain in critical condition, police said. 

Kelly was able to flee the scene, but was apprehended hours later in his vehicle by a U.S. Marshals Service Task Force, and was taken into custody without incident, police said.

After his arrest, Kelly declined to speak with investigators, but friends and family told police his mental condition had "declined" in recent months, police added.

Washington Store Shooting
This image from security camera video provided by the Richland, Washington, police shows a shooting suspect at a Fred Meyer store in Richland on Monday, February 7, 2022.  AP

A spokesperson for Kroger, the parent company of Fred Meyer, said the company is "deeply saddened by the incident." 

"The entire Fred Meyer family offers our thoughts, prayers, and support to all affected individuals and families during this difficult time," the spokesperson said. 


Suspect caught, on interstate

The alleged gunman was apprehended without incident on Interstate 90 between Sprague, Washington and Spokane, northeast of Richland, police in Richland said late Monday night.

They said Aaron Christopher Kelly, 39, was to be brought back to the Richland area and booked on charges of first degree murder and first degree attempted murder.

They identified the slain victim as 38-year-old Justin Krumbah and said the wounded victim was in critical condition.

The Tri-City Herald reported that Krumbah was a customer at the store and the other victim is an employee.

By Brian Dakss

Police confirm there are no additional victims

Richland Police Commander Chris Lee said that there are only two confirmed victims from the shooting. One is deceased and the other is in the hospital in critical condition. 

Police say the suspect and the deceased victim, another White male, had an interaction in the store before the suspect opened fire. Officers are not aware what the substance of the exchange was, but Lee said the suspect has had previous interactions with law enforcement. Lee could not say whether the past interactions with police were firearm related. 

Posted by Richland WA Police Department on Monday, February 7, 2022

The weapon used in the shooting was a handgun but police are not sure of the specific make and model. 

The suspect is currently still at large with multiple units searching the areas surrounding the store. Police say residents are still encouraged to avoid the area, but believe he is not a "per-se" threat to the public 

By Zoe Christen Jones

Washington State Police not currently assisting in search

As officers from the Richland Police Department continue to look for the Fred Meyer suspect, Washington State Patrol Public Information Officer Trooper Thorson confirmed to CBS News that state police are not actively involved in the search for the missing suspect "at this time."

State police are coordinating with local officers but are focused on assisting with traffic and road closures. The store and parking lot have been secured, but Wellsian Way, where the Fred Meyers is located, is still completely closed at this time. 

By Zoe Christen Jones

Watch: Police provide update on the shooting

Richland Police Commander Chris Lee spoke briefly to the media on Monday to provide an update on the shooting. Watch the press conference below: 

By Victoria Albert

ATF has responded to the scene

Special agents with the Seattle division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives responded to the Fred Meyer shooting scene Monday afternoon, the bureau said on Twitter. 

The bureau also retweeted images of the suspect released by local police, and urged anyone who recognized him to call the non-emergency dispatch line. 

By Zoe Christen Jones

Police confirm they're "actively looking" for suspect

The Richland Police Department confirmed that officers are "actively looking" for the suspect, who they described as a "middle aged white male." 

The department said in a statement that it's not clear if the suspect fled on foot or in a vehicle. 

By Victoria Albert
View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.