After a father and all four of his children escaped a Sunday shooting at a Safeway supermarket, he cited “the grace and provision of God.”
The market, located in a shopping center in Bend, Oregon, was the scene of a shooting in which two people were killed before the gunman apparently killed himself, according to KTVZ.
Josh Caba of Bend had gone inside with his four children. His wife, who was not feeling well, stayed in the car.
“About 10 minutes later, we started heading to the front. Then we heard I don’t know how many shots out front — six or seven. I immediately turned to my children and said, ‘Run!’ People were screaming. … it was a horrifying experience,” he said.
Caba said that his wife drove around the back of the store, which was where he and three of his children emerged after running through the produce department.
He recalled emerging to see his wife “sitting in the car, saying ‘Get in the car! Get in the car!’”
Caba went back in the store to find his fourth child and brought her to safety.
“When I got out of that store and the kids were rounded up, they (officers) are running into the store. They are wonderful people. They deserve all the praise and credit in the world. It is absolutely more terrifying than you can imagine to have someone shooting at your kids. They are rock stars!” he said.
One of the victims of the tragedy was also hailed as a hero. Store employee Donald Ray Surrett Jr., 66, fought the shooter before he was killed, police spokeswoman Sheila Miller said, according to CNN.
“Mr. Surrett acted heroically during this terrible incident,” she said.
“This is the Safeway employee who engaged with the shooter, which is to say he attempted to disarm the shooter and attacked this person, and we believe he prevented further deaths in addition to the quick police response,” she continued.
The gunman was identified by police as Ethan Blair Miller, 20. A rifle and shotgun were found close to his body, Bend Police Chief Mike Krantz said.
“Our hearts go out to the victims and their families,” Krantz said. “We know this is frightening for our community and something we would never want to happen in our city,” he said, promising police are “following up on every lead,” according to KTVZ.
Miller said shots were fired in the parking lot of the shopping center where the Safeway was located.
“One person was shot inside the entrance,” she said. “Police believe the shooter continued firing through the store, shooting and killing an additional person.”
CNN reported that plans for the attack were posted to a blogging site but have since been taken down.
“I heard anywhere from five to eight shots. I thought it sounded like backfire,” Thompson said. “Less than a minute later, there were 10 to 20 shots and then another 10 to 20 shots. And by that time, I went inside and told my dad to get away from the window. And people were running out of Safeway.”
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