(Update: Adding Bend City Council statement)
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — Gov. Kate Brown, Oregon’s two U.S. senators and others issued statements Monday in the wake of Sunday evening’s shooting at Bend’s Forum Shopping Center that left three people dead, including the gunman.
Governor Brown said, “I am asking all Oregonians to keep the victims of last night’s shooting in Bend and their families in your thoughts and in your hearts today.
“Every Oregonian should be able to go to a grocery store without the fear of gun violence,” Brown said. While there is still much we don’t know, Oregon State Police are working with local authorities to respond to and investigate this tragic event.
“Last night’s shooting was one of several in Oregon just this weekend,” the governor added. “The families of these victims will forever be impacted by these senseless acts. All Oregonians deserve to be safe from gun violence.”
In a series of tweets, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said, “The Oregonians who went to shop or to work at the Bend shopping center where last night’s mass shooting happened need our thoughts and actions.”
“America cannot just shrug its shoulders at another mass shooting with loved ones grieving the loss of family and friends,” Wyden said.
“The Senate took a small step this year toward reducing the threats of mass shootings, but there are many more steps ahead before our country actually addresses the gun violence epidemic devastating communities like Bend today & far too many communities before this,” he added.
“I’m willing to work with anybody who’s sick and tired of mass shootings to find solutions that put an end to this gun violence madness once and for all,” the senator concluded.
Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., also voiced similar concerns in a series of tweets late Sunday night.
“My heart breaks for the families of the victims and the many people whose routine Sunday evening shopping turned into a terrifying run for their lives in Bend,” Merkley said.
“This doesn’t have to happen. It’s not normal in any other country,” he continued. “High-powered assault rifles with high-capacity magazines, combined with personal grievances and often a culture of hate, create a toxic stew that leaves good people, innocent people dead, maimed, and traumatized.
“We need to come together – Democrats and Republicans, urban and rural, Black and white and brown and Asian American and Native American, and including the many responsible gun owners – and put an end to this madness,” Merkley concluded.
From the Bend City Council in response to last night’s shooting:
“No words can fully describe the terror and grief that our community experienced last night when a gunman opened fire at a local grocery store and took the lives of two of our community members. We mourn the loss of the victims, Glenn Edward Bennett and Donald Ray Surrett, Jr.
Surrett, a Safeway employee, potentially saved many lives as Police believe he tried to disarm the shooter, a heroic act for which we are so thankful for.
We are heartbroken for their families and friends.
We hold in our thoughts everyone who was there on Sunday night and experienced the trauma of a shooting in a place where people should feel safe getting their groceries.
We are incredibly thankful for the exceptionally swift response from the Bend Police Department and for the cooperation and collaboration of every local law enforcement agency in the area. We appreciate the community’s patience as our law enforcement professionals do their job, investigate this horrific crime, and collect accurate information before sharing it with the public.
Our community has had its sense of safety shattered by this act of violence. We must all come together to support one another as we process the wide range of emotions that we are all feeling right now. If you are struggling for any reason, please reach out the Deschutes County DA’s Victims Assistance and Deschutes County Behavioral Health. They have arranged for a community support center at Pilot Butte Middle School from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., today, Aug 29, and tomorrow, Aug. 30. Anyone can access these free counseling services as needed by dropping in.
There are also Victims Assistance support services for those present at the scene or their next of kin. Links to can be found on the Deschutes County District Attorney’s website.
We are devastated that Bend has become the latest community to experience a mass shooting aimed at causing fear. As leaders at the local level, we pledge to do everything in our power to advocate for the policies we need as a state and a country to curb gun violence and end the epidemic of mass shootings that plagues our communities. Everyone deserves to feel safe from gun violence in our community.”
Statement from state Rep. Jason Kropf, D-Bend:
“My heart breaks for my community in Bend today. My deepest condolences go out to the victims of last night’s attack and their families, as well as my appreciation for the first responders, hospital workers, and store employees who acted swiftly to keep people safe.
“This violence has no place in Bend, nor in any town. Everyone deserves safety and to not live in fear while grocery shopping, commuting to work, attending school, gathering to worship, or just simply going about their day.
“As we heal from this senseless event, I want to reaffirm my commitment to taking action to end gun violence and keep our communities safe. We know it can be prevented, and we must work together to do better.
“At this time, if you or anyone you know is struggling, please know there are mental health and crisis resources available around the clock, 24/7, including the Deschutes County Crisis Line which can be reached at 541-322-7500 ext. 9; the Deschutes County Stabilization Center for walk-in services at 63311 NE Jamison St.; and the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline which provides services via a toll-free hotline with the number 9-8-8.”
Republican Leaders Statements on Bend Shooting
PRINEVILLE, Ore. – House Republican Leader Vikki Breese-Iverson and Senate Republican Leader Tim Knopp issued the following statements after three people, included the gunman, were killed in an east Bend shopping center.
“I am devastated to hear about the shooting in the Bend community and am also deeply saddened for the victims and their families. I will keep them in my prayers and ask others to do the same,” said Breese-Iverson.
“Thank you to our law enforcement who showed up quickly to protect our community. While we wait for the investigation to be completed, the initial facts demonstrate a need for enhanced mental health services. I am committed to working on Oregonian’s access and to and funding for quality mental health services,” concluded Breese-Iverson.
Senate Republican Leader Knopp added, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of victims Glenn Bennett and Donald Surrett and those who were injured. I want to recognize Donald Surrett for his bravery and heroic effort which helped end an evil attack and likely saved lives.”
“It appears that once again, there were written threats before the tragedy, which had they been reported may have stopped this evil act from occurring. I am committed to the funding necessary to provide access to mental health services that will treat people with mental health issues before they gain access to a firearm,” concluded Knopp.
The two leaders are requesting that the Governor lower flags across the state to honor the victims.
Statement from Safeway:
“We are deeply saddened by the senseless violence at our Safeway store on Highway 20 in Bend, Oregon, including the loss of a customer and a valued member of our team. Our thoughts and actions now are directed toward supporting our associates, customers, and the community affected by this tragedy. We thank the officers at the Bend Police Department for their response and will continue to support the department’s investigation over the coming days.”
UFCW Local 555 responds to the mass shooting at Bend, Oregon Safeway
Bend, Oregon – UFCW Local 555 is mourning the loss of life in the mass shooting at a Bend, Oregon Safeway, carried out Sunday evening, August 28.
“As the Union representing Grocery workers at Safeway, UFCW Local 555 is heartbroken to see American workers once again face the unthinkable. In retail spaces, gun violence is becoming increasingly common. 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.
We would like to thank our first responders for their courage and for preventing further loss of life. Our hearts are with our members, friends, and family in the Bend community. UFCW Local 555 is working with Safeway to make sure our members get the support they need today, and we stand ready to support members as needed in the coming weeks.” – Dan Clay, President – UFCW Local 555
About Local 555: United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 555 represents over 28,000 workers in Oregon, Southwestern Washington, Idaho, and Wyoming. Our membership consists of workers in retail, manufacturing, health care and many other industries. We are a diverse group of workers that have grown into being the largest private sector labor union in Oregon. Local 555 has a rich history dating back to 1936. Our Local is chartered by the UFCW International Union, joining us with over 1.3 million workers across the United States and the World.
The post ‘This doesn’t have to happen’: Reactions to Bend shooting from officials, city council, Safeway, workers’ union appeared first on KTVZ.