Shawn Bair, 22, ID'd as Indiana supermarket shooter

ELKHART, Ind. – Police have identified 22-year-old Shawn Walter Bair as the gunman who killed two people in an Indiana supermarket before being killed by police late Wednesday night.

State police Sgt. Trent Smith told reporters Thursday that much of the massacre was captured on the store’s security cameras.

"I wouldn't say that it was well-planned, but it was obviously thought out," said Smith. "He was going to the store with a mission."

Smith said that Bair entered the Martin's Supermarket around 9:30 p.m. wearing a “heavy overcoat” and walked around, appearing to send text messages and talk on the phone for about 30 minutes. A store security guard was watching Bair, said Smith, because “it was a little suspicious that he wasn’t buying anything.”

At about 10:05 p.m., Smith said Bair fired his first shot, killing a 20-year-old female employee who was working as a stocker at Martin’s Supermarket. Bair then walked up to another female employee, had some “verbal exchanges” with her, and then she ran. He fired at her, missed, and she was able to escape.

Bair then went “several aisles down the store,” which according to Smith had only 10 to 15 people inside at the time, and shot a 44-year-old female “multiple times.”

The manager then confronted Bair, who pointed the gun at him. For the next few minutes, Bair held the manager hostage: “He asked him to go to his knees…you can see the manager there in a praying position.”

The initial 911 call went out at 10:07 p.m. and the Elkhart City Police were in the area and arrived within three minutes.

Smith said the security video shows Bair “diverting his attention” toward the police, which allowed the manager to get up and run. Bair, brandishing a large hunting knife and a gun, was then shot by police.

Smith said that several people in the store helped others get out as the shooting was going on.

Police have not determined a motive and are still investigating whether Bair might have had a relationship or connection to any of the victims. Smith said Bair had been living at his parents' home, which was within walking distance of the store, at the time of the killings.

CBS affiliate WSBT reports that a Facebook page belonging to Bair shows violent images, thoughts and an interest in famous serial killers.

The station also reports that in 2010, Bair pleaded guilty to theft at a different Martin’s Supermarket. The theft reportedly occurred exactly four years before Wednesday’s shooting.

  • Julia Dahl

    Julia Dahl writes about crime and justice for