Justin Krumbah was identified as the man who was killed at Richland Fred Meyer, a Washington state grocery store, on Monday, February 7, 2022. The suspect, identified as 39-year-old Aaron Christopher Kelly, remained on the run Monday night and was arrested less than 12 hours after the shooting.
The Tri-City Herald reported Krumbah was an Instacart shopper with a “positive can-do attitude.”
Richland Police confirmed Krumbah’s identity in a Facebook post, and said the wounded victim remained in critical condition at an area hospital. The statement was published at about 10 p.m. Pacific time. Police also confirmed the identity of the suspect. Police issued a statement at 6 a.m. Monday saying that Kelly had been arrested without incident and would be transported to jail for booking at about 11:30 p.m. He will face first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder charges, police said.
“This investigation remains an active, around-the-clock effort by our investigators,” police wrote as the manhunt continued. “The Richland Police Department continues to hold the victims and their families in our thoughts during this difficult time.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Krumbah Made Work Days Brighter at the Fred Meyer Grocery Store, Said Those Who Saw Him Daily
A GoFundMe was set up to raise funds for Krumbah’s family and for his funeral expenses. The online fundraiser had generated more than $11,000 as of 9 p.m. local time Monday evening.
Krumbah was a member of a large family, and was one of six children, according to KEPR. His sister told the news outlet he was a kind, funny person.
Others who knew Krumbah and saw him daily at the store wrote about his uplifting spirit. They said his presence at the store brought joy to their lives.
“He was great around the store, always full of energy,” one person wrote on the fundraising page.
Another person wrote that Krumbah made difficult days easier.
“I had the pleasure of meeting Justin over the last month or so as he’d been coming to the store every day I was working,” the person wrote. “He always had a smile on his face and was an absolute joy to be around. He was far and away one of my favorite parts of coming in and made those extra hard days seem not so bad. He will be missed dearly by everyone at FM.”
Another person mourning Krumbah was a customer that met him only briefly, days before he was killed. The customer wrote that Krumbah’s upbeat spirit left a lasting impression even after a very brief interaction. The customer noted Krumbah’s care in shopping, and said Krumbah told him he learned to make careful selections from his mother.
“Justin came to our house on January 25th to drop off groceries,” the person wrote. “He had a cheery attitude that left an impression on me and my wife. He took more care with the selection of our groceries than any other shopper had before. When asked why he took such care, he told my wife that he learned how to be a good shopper from his mother. We are heart broken to hear of his passing as he made a positive impact on us in such a short conversation. We send our condolences to his family, may they find some peace and comfort in the goodness he spread into the world.”
Police Released Some Details About the Events Leading Up to the Shooting
Police said that surveillance footage shows the suspect, later identified as Kelly, in a heated discussion with the victim before shots were fired.
Commander Chris Lee said in the news conference they did not know the source of the apparent contention, which ultimately turned deadly.
“Initial reports were of yelling and possible gun shots within the store,” Lee said.
Police reviewed surveillance footage from Fred Meyer immediately after the shooting in hopes of locating a suspect and victims who were sheltering in place in the store. The suspect had already fled when police arrived, officials said, and surviving victims were escorted outside of the store to safety.
The shooting at 101 Wellsian Way was reported at 11:03 a.m. local time, Richland Police said in their initial news conference shortly after the shooting. They were called for a report of shots fired inside the store.
Police released a statement at about 1:30 p.m. saying they were continuing the search for the suspect, describing him as a middle-aged white male. Anyone with information on Kelly or his whereabouts is asked to call 509-628-0333.
Richland is a city in southeastern Washington with a population of about 50,000, according to online records.