Aaron Christopher Kelly arrested after shooting Justin Krumbah Fred Meyer Instacart worker dead at Richland, Washington State grocery store in manhunt.
A gunman who shot up a Richland, Fred Meyer grocery store in Washington state, killing an Instacart employee and critically injuring a store worker, has been arrested 130 miles away following a police manhunt.
Aaron Christopher Kelly, 39, was taken in to custody after being detained on Interstate 90 between Sprague and Spokane following the killing of Justin Krumbah, 38.
Richland police in a Facebook post said the wanted man was taken into custody without incident and faced charges of first-degree murder and first-degree attempted murder.
Police said surveillance footage captured Kelly embroiled in a verbal altercation with Krumbah before opening fire at around 11am, fatally striking the worker while critically injuring another before fleeing the supermarket.
Suspect had previous contact with law enforcement
The wanted man had remained on the loose until Monday evening. He is believed to have fled in a 2005 Honda Civic.
During the course of the day, police said they had identified the suspect but had declined releasing the alleged gunman’s name, only to say the wanted man had previous ‘contact with law enforcement’, as they issued a $1million nationwide warrant for his arrest the Tri-City Herald reported.
The manhunt for Kelly continued throughout Monday night, and a helicopter from the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office was on the scene Monday afternoon to assist in the search for the suspect before his arrest.
At least a half-dozen schools in the vicinity of the store were placed on lockdown as a precaution. People were being asked to avoid the area as the local school district provided buses to reunite those who were stuck inside with their families.
One witness reported hearing at least 10 shots fired inside the store, the Herald reported.
Grocery store workers and customers reportedly huddled in stock rooms, restrooms and back offices, awaiting police to lead them to safety.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the supermarket chain said: ‘We are deeply saddened by the incident that occurred at our Fred Meyer store located on 101 Wellsian Way in Richland, Washington.
‘He always had a smile on his face an was an absolute joy to be around,’
‘The entire Fred Meyer family offers our thoughts, prayers and support to all affected individuals and families during this difficult time.’
Following the shooting, friends and co-workers took to social media to remember Kumbra, who they said always wore a smile as he bought groceries for his clients and had a ‘positive can-do attitude.’
A GoFundMe was also set up to raise money for his funeral expenses, with many remembering Krumbah for his outgoing personality.
‘He always had a smile on his face an was an absolute joy to be around,’ wrote Alexander Weeks, a store employee at the Richland Fred Meyer on the fundraiser. ‘He was far and away one of my favorite parts of coming in and made those extra hard days seem not so bad.’
Tributes had also poured into his Facebook page, where Krumbah often posted pictures of himself in different outfits as he began his Instacart shift every day.
His most recent post, on January 26, showed him donning an apron emblazoned with the Seattle Seahawks logo with the caption: ‘Hi ho, hi ho, off to work I go.’
A friend at the time asked: ‘You wear an apron now?’ to which Krumbah responded: ‘I take pride in my work no matter what I do! Always gotta be professional.’
Many more people commented on the photo following the news of the shooting, with one Richland woman saying she met him in the checkout line of the Fred Meyer last Saturday and spoke ‘about how you enjoyed Instacart and how you approached it with an outstanding work ethic.
While another commentator added, ‘The world lost a light today.’