Lauren C. Moye, FISM News
Shooters in Bend, Oregon and Detroit killed five people and injured two others on Sunday in what police believe were random acts of violence. The shootings do not appear to be connected.
Police in Bend, Oregon responded to a shooting at a local shopping center around 7 p.m. local time yesterday. The initial media alert states that “at least one shooter was at the shopping center firing shots in the parking lot.”
The shooter, whose identity has not been released, then entered the Safeway grocery store. He shot one person inside the west entrance of the store.
“The shooter continued through Safeway firing rounds,” Bend Police Chief Mike Krantz said during a late-night press conference. “Officers responded and when they arrived they entered the Safeway immediately, still hearing shots.”
Further in the store, officers found one other person killed and one injured. They also found a third body with what Krantz called “an AR-15 style rifle and a shotgun in close proximity.” Police believe this was the shooter, he said.
One witness told police there was a second shooter. However, Krantz said police hadn’t found evidence of another person involved.
The investigation is still ongoing.
A deadlier shooting spanned multiple blocks in Detroit, Michigan on Sunday. Three people were killed and a fourth injured in a shooting spree that began sometime before 4:45 a.m. local time and ended at 7:10 a.m.
“It appears to be very random. One was waiting on a bus. One was walking his dog and one was just on the street,” Detroit Police Chief James White said. “As you can imagine, they’re getting treatment – the ones that survived and you know, we’ll be talking to them when they’re coherent enough to talk and piece things together.”
Law enforcement later apprehended the alleged gunman after circulating an image of the suspect captured from a security camera. His identity has not been released.
“This did not need to happen,” White said. “Once again, Detroiters are reeling after lives were senselessly taken at random from our community.”
Both Oregon and Michigan have lax gun laws, compared to some states. Oregon does not require a license or waiting period before purchasing a weapon and they easily issue concealed carry licenses. Michigan does require a gun license before purchasing from a non-federally licensed firearms dealer.
Despite comparable gun laws, there is a wide disparity in homicide numbers and rates between the states.
According to Oregon state government data, gun-related deaths have remained relatively consistent with the U.S. average. Data from multiple years shows that roughly 80% of these fatalities are suicides. The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that there were 592 gun fatalities in Oregon in 2020.
Meanwhile, the CDC shows 1,454 gun-related deaths in Michigan in 2020. Roughly two-fifths of these were homicides. Detroit reported 327 homicides within city limits for the same year. This means that over half of the state’s gun-related murders come directly from the city.