Richland, Washington police and assisting law enforcement have concluded their search for a shooting suspect, Aaron Christopher Kelly, who they say killed one person and injured a second person at a Fred Meyer store. Police released a photo of the suspected shooter and asked for help finding him in the hours after the shooting.
He was arrested without incident late Monday night, February 7, 2022, police announced.
At an initial news conference, Richland police Commander Chris Lee said they did not know whether the suspect fled in a vehicle or on foot. The shooting occurred at 11:04 a.m.
The suspect had his hair parted on the side. He was wearing a plaid shirt with a dark-colored down vest, a black gaiter or scarf pulled over his nose, light-colored pants and athletic shoes. Police are also looking for a light-colored or white pickup truck they believe is associated with the suspect.
Anyone with information on the man or his whereabouts was asked to call 509-628-0333. Police released a statement at about 1:30 p.m. local time saying they were continuing the search for the suspect, a middle aged white male.
Here’s what you need to know:
Police Said Kelly Was Arrested Without Incident on Interstate 90 More Than 100 Miles Away
Richland Police issued a statement at 6 a.m. Tuesday, February 8, 2022, saying Kelly had been arrested without incident at about 11:30 p.m. Monday night. They said he was being transported to jail to face first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder charges. The arrest occurred on Interstate 90 between Sprague and Spokane, police said. Sprague is about 110 miles from Richland, and Spokane is about 145 miles from Richland.
Richland police Commander Chris Lee said in an afternoon news conference shortly after the shooting they had identified the suspect, but were not yet releasing his name. The suspect had not been arrested at the time of the press conference, which was scheduled for 2:15 p.m. local time.
The press conference was the second the department held on the shooting.
The police department released additional information in their official statement Monday, February 7. The statement said:
The safety of our citizens remains of utmost concern.
The Richland Police Department is actively looking for the suspect. The suspect left the store and it is undetermined if he left on foot or in a vehicle.
One person has died and another is in the hospital with injuries. The suspect has been described as a middle aged white male. Photos have been distributed. He is believed to be armed and dangerous.
We ask our community or anyone with information to contact Non Emergency dispatch at 509-628-0333. If you see the suspect or feel you are in danger, please call 911.
At approximately 11:03 dispatch received a call regarding an incident at the Richland Fred Meyer. Initial reports were of yelling and possible gun shots within the store. Officers were dispatched and the first officers arrived on scene at 11:04 a.m.
Again, the suspect is still at large. Please avoid the area.
Police Arrived on the Scene to Find 1 Dead, 1 Injured & Could Not Immediately Locate a Suspect
Police confirmed their presence at the 101 Wellsian Way store at about 11:40 a.m. and the reports they received, but did not immediately confirm the shooting and whether there were any deaths or injuries. They released a photo of a suspect about one hour later and said one victim had died.
The Richland Police Department was asking residents to avoid the area.
“We please ask that you continue to avoid the area of Wellsian Way in Richland, as our officers are on scene. Please follow this page for information as it is made available,” the police department wrote on Twitter.
Police also released a photo and asked for any information on the suspect’s whereabouts.
The Tri-City Herald referenced initial reports that indicated at least one person was injured by a man with a handgun inside the store. The newspaper reported the store was evacuated, with employees and customers escorted outside and gathered in the parking lot. Police were searching for the suspect in the store aisles and using surveillance cameras to search for the shooter and others who may be sheltering in place in offices and other rooms, the report says.