Wednesday night 22-year-old Shawn Bair entered at Martin’s grocery store in Elkhart, Indiana armed with a semi-automatic handgun and a large hunting knife. He shot and killed two women before police took him out. Here’s what we know about him and his senseless crime:
1. Police Suggest Bair Was Attempting a Random, Mass Shooting
The police say a search of the gunman’s home turned up no evidence that Bair knew either of the women he killed, who were 20 and 44. However Sgt. Trent Smith told the Chicago Tribune that they nonetheless believe the shooting was planned in advance:
“Obviously there was some type of planning that went into this. This wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment thing.”
2. Police Arrived Within Three Minutes of the First Call
Two Elkhart Police officers happened to already be in the area of Martin’s on an unrelated call. They arrived to find Bair with his semi-automatic pointed at a shopper’s head, and succeeded in shooting Bair dead before he could take another life. They then found the two women they were too late to save, one a shopper, the other a store employee, their bodies lying twelve aisles apart.
3. Bair Is a Juggalo
Shawn Bair’s Facebook page suggests he was a dedicated fan of Detroit novelty hip-hop act Insane Clown Posse. The Posse’s hardcore fans travel to see the group perform, dressed in the duo’s signature clown make-up, and have formed a tight-knit community akin to the “Deadheads” that used to follow the Grateful Dead in the sixties, only the “Juggalos” are obviously more connected via social media than any Vietnam-era acid casualties ever could be.
In one timeline post, a little over a week before attending an ICP show, Bair refers to the Juggalos as his family:
Just last week, Insane Clown Posse and four of their biggest fans filed a lawsuit against the FBI for designating the “Juggalos” a criminal gang.
That lawsuit read in part:
“Juggalos are a ‘family’ of people who love and help one another, enjoy one another’s company, and bond over the music and a philosophy of life. Organized crime is by no means part of the Juggalo culture.”
The band, whose lyrics often glorify rape and murder (I’m hating sluts/shoot them in the face/step back and itch my nuts/unless I’m in the sack/Cuz I fuck so hard it’ll break their back), came out as evangelical Christians in 2010, and started releasing songs arguing for intelligent design:
The lawsuit acknowledges that there might be a few bad apples within the Juggalo community, but does not concede that the subject matter of ICP’s music might specifically attract them:
“Among the supporters of almost any group — whether it be a band, sports team, university, political organization or religion — there will be some people who violate the law. Inevitably, some will do so while sporting the group’s logos or symbols. However, it is wrong to designate the entire group of supporters as a criminal gang based on the acts of a few.”
4. Bair Has Violence-Glorifying Imagery on His Facebook
Besides this apparent snuff photo, Bair’s Facebook features multiple photos of famous serial killers:
His timeline is filled, almost exclusively with posts expressing hatred and fantasies of murder:
5. Bair Likes the NRA
Among Bair’s Facebook likes are God, Budweiser, and the NRA.
A little over three years ago, Bair wrote an ominous post about how some ticking time bombs were meant to explode: