The first shots occurred at approximately 7:04 pm, cops said, as Miller made his way from his home in the Fox Hollow Apartments down the sidewalk at the Forum Shopping Center in Bend. He fired shots from an AR-style rifle into Big Lots before entering moving to Safeway. Miller shot and killed Bennet, a shopper in the entryway, before moving toward the back of the store. Surret Jr., a Safeway employee, reportedly tried to disarm Miller before being shot and killed.
“Surrett engaged with the shooter, attempted to disarm him and may very well have prevented further deaths. Mr. Surrett acted heroically during this terrible incident,” Bend PIO Miller said at a press conference.
Police reported two other victims sustained non-life-threatening injuries. Miller died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the produce section of Safeway, near where Surret Jr. confronted the shooter. Police arrived on scene within three minutes after shots were reported, entering the building while shots were still being fired, finding Miller deceased with an AR-style rifle and 12-gauge shotgun. PIO Miller said the time of first dispatch to the discovery of Miller’s body was around four minutes.
Statements from the shooter prompted BPD to contact the Oregon State Police bomb squad, who cleared Safeway and the shooter’s Fox Hollow apartment building. A search of the shooter’s vehicle found three Molotov cocktails, a sawed-off shotgun, “digital devices” and additional ammunition.
The scene was still being investigated and PIO Miller expects the investigation in the area will remain active through Tuesday. It’s unknown how the shooter obtained the guns, and BPD has partnered the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to determine how he obtained the guns. PIO Miller asked anyone with relevant information to contact them at 541-322-6380.
Two officers and mental health professionals will be stationed at Mick’s Drive at the Forum to return property left at the store and cars left at the parking lot.
Police didn’t confirm whether a since-removed manifesto attributed to Miller posted on Wattpad, an online social reading platform, just before the shooting was legitimate.
The manifesto outlined how the writer of the post purchased an AR-15 and a 12-guage shotgun and built a sawed-off shotgun and Molotov cocktails, details unknown to the public until the press conference on Monday. The manifesto, titled “The Downward Spiral of Ethan Miller,” indicated that the writer of the post’s initial target was Mountain View High School on September 8, the first day of the school year. In the manifesto he ranted against COVID laws, a lack of meaningful friendly and romantic relationships and his distaste for modern society while fantasizing about committing mass violence against innocent people.
In the wake of the shootings, local and statewide officials mourned the loss of Bennet and Surrett Jr. Gov. Kate Brown asked Oregonians to keep the victims in their thoughts and hearts and praised Surrett Jr. for confronting the shooter. Rep. Jason Kropf (D-Bend) gave condolences to the victims and their families, shared appreciation for first responders, hospital workers and store employees who kept people safe, and reaffirmed commitment to end gun violence. Bend Mayor Pro Tem Anthony Broadman released a statement and later spoke during a press conference on Monday.
“We need to guard against the cynicism of thinking these attacks on order and peace as regular unavoidable things, I won’t accept that, and I know the community of Bend won’t accept that either,” Broadman said during the press conference.
A community vigil was planned for 6:30-7:30pm on Monday to honor Surrett Jr. and Bennet.
(New info, 8/30, 5pm:)
Surrett Jr. had opportunity to flee, but instead moved to hide from the attacker by hiding behind a produce cart, and attempted to subdue the shooter with a produce knife Surret Jr. kept on his hip. Bennett, who was shot in the entryway of Safeway, was recovered by two community members who re-entered the store to pull him out and deliver him to medics. Law enforcement will remain on scene at the Safeway, though the parking lot will be allowed to reopen.
Bend and Central Oregon Community Mental Health Resources:
Deschutes County 24-hour crisis phone line
Available 24/7 to anyone who is experiencing a crisis or needs crisis support.
541-322-7500 ext. 9
Walk-in crisis services
Provides immediate access to a Master’s level therapist for individuals experiencing a crisis. Open to people of all ages, regardless of ability to pay, in a safe and confidential environment. No appointment necessary. Brief stabilization: Deschutes County Stabilization Center, 63311 NE Jamison Street Bend, OR 97703. 541-585-7210- Office Line (Non-Emergency)
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
A hotline for individuals in crisis or for those looking to help someone else. To speak with a certified listener, call 1-800-273-8255.
The Veterans Crisis Line and Military Crisis Line
1-800-273-8255 Press 1 Connects veterans and service members in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text.
Crisis Text Line
Crisis Text Line is a texting service for emotional crisis support. To speak with a trained listener, text HELLO to 741741. It is free, available 24/7, and confidential.
The Trevor Project
Crisis support for LGBTQ+ youth. thetrevorproject.org/
A teen-to-teen crisis and helpline for youth and teens. Teens available to help daily from 4pm-10pm (off-hour calls are answered by the crisis line)
Text: ‘teen2teen’ to 839863