By COLIN STAUB
Donald Ray Surrett Jr., a 66-year-old UFCW Local 555 member, was murdered Aug. 28 at the Bend, Oregon Safeway where he worked as a grocery clerk.
At 7:04 p.m. Aug 28, the Bend Police responded to calls reporting an active shooter inside Safeway at the Forum Shopping Center in northeast Bend.
The shooter, later identified as 20-year-old Ethan Miller, entered the store with an AR 15-style rifle, and shot and killed an 84-year-old customer near the entrance. As he moved through the store, he continued firing. In the produce department near the back of the store, he encountered Surrett Jr.
A Bend Police Department spokesperson said Surrett Jr. acted heroically: He tried to disarm the shooter, and may have prevented further deaths.
Police entered the store while shots were being fired, but Miller shot and killed himself before police reached him. Police have not yet determined a motive.
In a statement mourning the victims of the shooting, UFCW Local 555 president Dan Clay said the union is “heartbroken to see American workers once again face the unthinkable.” Local 555 represents workers at the Bend Safeway.
“In retail spaces, gun violence is becoming increasingly common,” Clay said. “What should have just been a normal evening erupted into a mass shooting event that cut lives short, and will forever leave scars in the community. Retail workers should not go to work facing violence, and deserve more protection than our society has chosen to afford them.”