Grocery shoppers return to the aisles in wake of shootings

Shoppers outside an Elkhart Martin's Super Market, though leery after Wednesday's deadly shootings, weren't about to stop going to the store.
Posted on Jan. 17, 2014 at 12:00 a.m.

ELKHART — Pat Gordy felt a measure of unease going to the grocery store.

No way was she going to let it overwhelm her, though.

“You’re leery to go anyplace,” she said Friday, Jan. 17, two days after the deadly shootings of two women at the Martin’s Super Market on East Bristol Street. “I thought about it. Yet I had stuff to do.”

So there she was, outside the Martin’s on Jackson Boulevard, after a little shopping inside the store. There’s risk “anyplace you go, even just walking across the parking lot,” she said, but you can’t let it paralyze you.

The killings Wednesday of Rachelle Godfread, 44, and Krystle Dikes, 20, at the Bristol Street Martin’s generated shock waves all over Elkhart and beyond. Elkhart police, called to the scene, shot and killed the gunman, Shawn Bair, 22, before more blood could be shed, authorities say.

Nonetheless, shoppers outside the Jackson Boulevard Martin’s, though perhaps momentarily uneasy, said Wednesday’s violence wouldn’t keep them holed up at home and wouldn’t prevent them from shopping and resuming their daily routines.

“You feel like you’re not safe anywhere. But you can’t live in fear,” said Sandy Alwine. She’s still a bit leery about going to the movies in the wake of the 2012 mass killing at an Aurora, Colo., theater, she said, but that hasn’t stopped her.

“I think if we live in fear, we’re letting the shooter get the best of us,” Alwine said.

Stephanie Sharpe said it’s a matter of being aware of your surroundings, though she acknowledged even that isn’t foolproof. “There really is no solution because you just don’t know,” she said.

But still, you can’t be paralyzed by the unknown.

“You can’t live in fear,” she said. “No matter where you go, you can’t live in fear.”


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