Shooting at Oregon grocery store kills three, including gunman

A shooting at a Safeway convenience store Sunday night in Bend, Oregon, left three people dead, including the suspected gunman, reigniting public calls for government leaders to do more against gun violence.

Police in Bend said the gunman — whose name has not been released — came from a nearby residential area and opened fire as he walked through the Safeway parking lot. One person was shot near the entrance and died at the scene, police said.

Another was shot and killed inside the store and police arrived to find the gunman dead inside the grocery store as well.

Police said no shots were fired at the scene, including the gunman, but did not immediately say whether the gunman had killed himself. They noted that he was near an assault rifle and a shotgun.

Details about the gunman, other than that he is male, or his two victims were not immediately released.

Residents in nearby homes and apartments described a terrifying scene to the media. They reported hearing multiple gunshots, and a grocery store employee told reporters he hid in a walk-in refrigerator during the shooting.

Authorities said they had not immediately determined a motive for the attack, prompting local officials to call for making access to high-powered weapons more difficult.

At a press conference, Bend Police Chief Mike Crand said, “We know this is something that is terrifying for our community and something that we would never want to happen in our city.”

The shooting in Bend comes just months after another shooting at a Buffalo grocery store in May that killed 10 black men. Racism motivated the white teenage gunman in that attack, police said.

The summer saw more mass shootings, including at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, in May that left 21 dead and a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, that killed seven.

All of those shootings involved shooters who had legally acquired assault rifles, further dividing the political left and right of America over whether to limit the right to bear arms enshrined in the second amendment to the US constitution.

Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley, a Democrat, said: “Last night there was a horrific shooting in Bend. People were just living their lives before they were killed. My heart breaks for their loved ones. This is not normal. Assault weapons and high capacity magazines should never be on the street.

“We need Democrats, Republicans, rural residents to urbanites and responsible gun owners to all come together and end gun violence in our communities. Enough with this madness.”

Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, also a Democrat, echoed Merkley’s response: “Oregonians who went to shop or work at the Bend Mall where the mass shooting happened last night need our thoughts and actions. America can’t just shrug.”

Wyden acknowledged that Congress this summer passed legislation that would strengthen background checks for younger gun buyers, keep firearms from more domestic violence offenders and help states implement red flag laws that are supposed to make it easier authorities to take weapons from people deemed dangerous.

But he said it was only “one small step”.

“There are many more steps ahead before our country truly addresses the epidemic of gun violence that is ravaging communities like Bend today and so many before it,” Wyden added. “I am willing to work with anyone who is sick and tired of mass shootings to find solutions that will end this insanity of gun violence once and for all.”

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