ELKHART, Ind. (AP) — A man who went on a shooting rampage inside a northern Indiana grocery store, killing an employee and a shopper, didn't appear to have a specific target but appeared intent on committing suicide, a prosecutor said Thursday.
Elkhart County Prosecutor Curtis Hill Jr. said a state police investigation found no evidence Shawn Bair knew either store employee Krystle Dikes or shopper Rachelle Godfread when he went on the shooting spree Jan. 15 inside a Martin's Super Market in Elkhart.
"This appears to be a case where these unfortunate folks were at the wrong place at the wrong time and they were the victims of an individual who had made the determination he was going to take his own life and became homicidal in the process," Hill said.
State police also weren't able to determine why Bair chose that grocery store or his motivation for the shootings.
"A lot of the why died that night. We can't really go into what is in the mind of someone who commits such a heinous act," Hill said.
The state police investigation found Bair had "some suicidal tendencies and some apparent mental issues or deficiencies over a period of time," Hill said. A judge had ordered Bair to receive treatment at Oaklawn Psychiatric Center in 2010 when he pleaded guilty to theft.
The coroner was not able to determine whether Bair died from a gunshot to his heart by police or a self-inflicted head wound because they occurred nearly simultaneously, Hill said.
Hill said Elkhart police Cpl. Jason Tripp and Cpl. Cody Skipper were justified in using deadly force because it was an active shooter situation and because Bair didn't comply when they ordered him to drop his gun, instead raising it toward them.
"As he raised his gun, the officers opened fire," Hill said.