Richland, WA – The gunman who opened fire inside a Fred Meyer grocery store in Richland was captured on Interstate 90 late on Monday evening.
The shootings occurred at about 11:03 a.m. on Feb. 7 in the Fred Meyer store located in the 100-block of Wellsian Way, KCPQ reported.
Police said that 39-year-old Aaron Christopher Kelly got into an altercation with another man inside the grocery store and shot him, KIRO reported.
The man who was killed has been identified as 38-year-old Justin Krumbah.
Krumbah was a shopper for the Instacart shopping service and was in the store to fulfill an order, KIRO reported.
Richland Police Commander Chris Lee told reporters that Kelly had a “heated conversation” with Krumbah before he pulled out a handgun and shot him, but what they were arguing about is unknown.
Cmdr. Lee said it wasn’t clear whether Kelly and Krumbah knew each other prior to the incident, NBC News reported.
“We don’t know what the cause was,” the commander said. “We don’t know if it was specifically intentional or targeted toward any one person.”
Cmdr. Lee said the first police officer on the scene arrived about one minute later.
Police officers escorted terrified customers and employees out of the Fred Meyer while other officers searched the store for the gunman, NBC News reported.
Area schools were placed in lockdown.
Richland Interim Police Chief Brigit Clary said Krumbah was pronounced dead at the scene, NBC News reported.
“What happened in our city today was a senseless and tragic act. Our hearts and thoughts are with the families of the victims,” Chief Clary told reporters on Monday night.
Witnesses described a chaotic and terrifying scene, KIRO reported.
“I was helping someone with their groceries, putting them in their trunk when my boss and bunch of people started running out saying ‘run, run there’s an active shooter,’” Fred Meyer employee Alicia Noldner said.
Another employee, Trevor Roland, described the confusion surrounding the incident, KIRO reported.
“We heard a couple [bangs] thinking it might have been a couple balloons popping somewhere, and then we heard another few and people running saying, ‘shots fired, shots fired,’ and running and ducking out the doors,” Roland explained.
Kelly also shot and wounded a store employee who got in his way as he left the store, KIRO reported.
That employee was operated on and remained in critical condition at Kadlec Regional Medical Center.
Officials have not released the wounded employee’s name.
Authorities released surveillance video images of the suspect shortly after the shooting and asked for the public’s help to identify him and his vehicle.
The Richland Police Department is seeking information on the identity and location of the pictured suspect and suspect vehicle in relation to a shooting at the Richland Fred Meyer. The suspect should be considered armed and dangerous. Please avoid the area due to police activity. pic.twitter.com/yy2oyABqkB
— Kennewick Police (@KennewickPolice) February 7, 2022
Kelly was positively identified by police about 10 hours after the shootings, NBC News reported.
Richland police said the gunman was taken into custody “without incident” about two hours later on Interstate 90 between Sprague and the City of Spokane.
Kelly has been charged with first-degree murder and first-degree attempted murder and was booked into the Benton County Jail, according to KIRO.
JUST IN: Richland Police identify suspect in deadly Fred Meyer Shooting as 38 y/o Aaron Christopher Kelly. Picture is a screen grab is from their FB page. pic.twitter.com/aVdcC9IpFi
— Mark Hanrahan (@KREMMark) February 8, 2022
Fred Meyer stores issued a statement late on Feb. 7, NBC News reported.
“The entire Fred Meyer Family offers our thoughts, prayers, and support to all affected individuals and families during this difficult time, and we have initiated counseling services for our associates,” the statement read.