He was young, angry and heavily armed. The man who police say killed a worker and customer at Safeway on Bend’s eastside Sunday was just 20 years old.
Even while he was a Mountain View High School student, the man identified by police as the shooter was studying martial arts.
He trained for a time at Danzig MMA in northeast Bend. The owner said the suspect wasn’t a very good student and adds there was nothing about the young man that really stood out.
“Like a lot of young kids, they say they want to be fighters and when they learn what training is about they do something else,” said Mac Danzig. “I think it was two-and-a-half years ago he went and followed some girl to a different gym.”
At Ralph Gracie Jiu-Jitsu across town, there was a similar story. They haven’t seen the man in class for several months and didn’t make much of an impression while he was there.
Terri Aube lives near the Safeway, shops there and does jazzercise next door to Danzig MMA.
“Some of my jazzercise friends and I were talking. No place is safe these days. Uvalde happened in a small town in Texas. Small towns are just as susceptible as the big city. But I still didn’t expect it here.
The man’s former teacher echoes what so many of us are thinking about the scene that unfolded so violently Sunday night.
“It’s terrible. It’s horrendous. I empathize with somebody who feels the world is terrible and bad. But I think it’s cowardly to go in and shoot people. It’s horrible. It’s stupid,” said Danzig.