The Elkhart Truth via AP
Emergency personnel respond to a shooting inside Martin's Supermarket in Elkhart, Ind., late Wednesday.
A gunman killed an employee and a customer at an Indiana grocery store before being shot dead by police, officials said early Thursday.
The suspect was identified Thursday as Shawn Walter Bair, a resident of Elkhart, Ind., the city where the shooting occurred. He had his gun pointed at a third person when officers arrived at Martin's Super Market in Elkhart, State Police Sgt. Trent Smith said in a press conference early Thursday.
When he pointed his weapon at the officers, they shot him dead, Smith said.
"We're pretty confident that Elkhart's quick response to the scene most definitely saved some lives tonight," Smith said.
Smith said it was a "huge crime scene" and that shots had been fired from one end of the store to the next. The victims were found 10 to 12 aisles apart.
Police rushed to the scene shortly after 10 p.m. on Wednesday after receiving a 911 call. They heard gunshots when they arrived and rushed to the section of the store from which the shots were fired.
Smith said the shooter was armed with a semiautomatic handgun and a large knife.
Police do not know the relationship between the gunman and the two women he killed. One was an employee and one was a shopper, Smith told the press conference in a video posted online by NBC affiliate WNDU.
The employee was identified by The Elkhart Truth newspaper as 20-year-old Krystle Dikes. The other victim had not been identified as of Thursday morning.
Posts on what appears to be the Facebook page of the alleged shooter paint a portrait of a deeply disturbed young man. The NRA is one of his "likes," along with controversial band Insane Clown Posse. His posts appear to foretell violence.
"I have now realized that everybody should die no matter race or religion black white everybody will taste the cold metal of my knife and death shall follow me collecting souls of the wicked," read one.
"I MAY BE GOING TO HELL BUT AT LEAST I'M GOING HONEST," read another. "YOU LOOK AT ME AND SEE THIS FREAK. I SEE A GOD."
An alleged shooter, described as a man in his 20s, was shot and killed by police who say he opened fire in a supermarket, killing a store employee and a shopper.
When asked at the press conference about whether people in the relatively small city of Elkhart were horrified that someone would start shooting in a supermarket, Smith said: "That's today's society, unfortunately. We live in that world.
"There's not a day that goes by where we are not learning about a school shooting, or at a business. We hoped that it would never come to our home, and here it is. You cannot walk around in life afraid."
Martin's Super Market was closed Thursday.
"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," Rob Bartels, Martin's President and CEO, said in a statement.
Elkhart Co. prosecutor is on the scene. pic.twitter.com/sHpUqYATyz— Barbara Harrington (@bharringtonwndu) January 16, 2014
This story was originally published on Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:22 AM EST