Eaton Township Weis Markets shooting

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Eaton Township Weis Markets shooting
Eaton Township Weis Markets shooting is located in Pennsylvania
Eaton Township Weis Markets shooting
Location within PA / United States
Eaton Township Weis Markets shooting is located in the United States
Eaton Township Weis Markets shooting
Eaton Township Weis Markets shooting (the United States)
LocationEaton Township, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Coordinates41°31′45″N 75°56′51″W / 41.5291°N 75.9474°W / 41.5291; -75.9474Coordinates: 41°31′45″N 75°56′51″W / 41.5291°N 75.9474°W / 41.5291; -75.9474
DateJune 8, 2017
12:57 a.m. – 1:01 a.m. (EDT)
TargetEmployees at Weis Markets
Attack type
Murder-suicide, workplace violence
WeaponsTwo pistol gripped Mossberg 500 pump-action shotguns
Deaths4 (including the perpetrator)
PerpetratorRandy Stair

In the early hours on the morning of June 8, 2017, employees at a Weis Markets supermarket in Eaton Township, Pennsylvania, were stocking and closing the store for the night. Shortly before 1:00 a.m., 24-year-old Randy Stair barricaded the exits of the store and proceeded to shoot and kill three of his co-workers before shooting himself.[1]

Shooting[edit]

Randy Stair, 24, arrived for his late-night shift at Weis Markets in Eaton Township, Pennsylvania (just south of Tunkhannock), on the evening of June 7, 2017, during closing time at approximately 11:00 p.m. Stair went to the back of the store to the crew area and blocked an emergency exit at the far back of the store. He then continued with his duties, stocking shelves and cleaning up from the previous day. At 12:10 a.m., he sent out links to multiple files and videos which detailed his plans via his Twitter account; these files were labeled "Journal", "Suicide Tapes", and "Digital set".[2][3][4]

Stair then went back to the crew area in the rear of the store, blocked the remaining exits, then locked the automatic doors at the main entrance to the store. He then pulled out two pistol grip pump-action shotguns and walked around the store and killed three employees—Victoria Brong, Brian Hayes, and Terry Lee Sterling. He then approached another coworker, Kristan Newell, who had not heard the shooting due to her listening to music with headphones on while she was labeling items and stocking shelves near the rear of the store.[5] Stair was seen on CCTV surveillance camera footage standing behind Newell as she worked for about five seconds before she proceeded to the next aisle.[6]

After this, Stair proceeded to fire at a glass and other merchandise in the store and shot multiple small portable propane tanks, which failed to explode. Around this time, Newell took off her headphones; hearing the gunshots, she hid in the crew room and called 9-1-1. After a short time, Stair finished shooting items. Stair went to the deli section of the store, placed the shotgun in his mouth, and committed suicide. A total of 59 shots had been fired. All of the shotgun rounds fired came from only one of the two shotguns he brought. Randy stated in his fifth "Suicide Tape" that the second shotgun was only for backup in case the first one "breaks down on [him] or jams, and [he has] no way of fixing it". He said he needed at least one of the shotguns to be functional in order to commit suicide.[citation needed]

Victims[edit]

Perpetrator[edit]

Randy Stair
Born(1992-09-17)September 17, 1992
DiedJune 8, 2017(2017-06-08) (aged 24)
Cause of deathSelf-inflicted gunshot wound to the head
NationalityAmerican
Other namesAndrew Blaze
OccupationSupermarket employee
EmployerWeis Markets

Randy Robert Stair (September 17, 1992 – June 8, 2017), who called himself Andrew Blaze, worked at Weis Markets for seven years prior to the shootings. He had kept detailed videos, recordings, and journals leading up to the shooting, most of which he uploaded to online forums and social media profiles just prior. In these writings and videos, he expressed his willingness to commit suicide, addressed the personal tragedies and other misfortunes he experienced which led him to a state of depression, described questioning his gender identity, provided detailed explanations of his plans for carrying out the shooting, and explained his belief that these murders would allow him to cross over to an animated world he had imagined. Stair also had a fascination with multiple mass shootings, specifically school shootings (particularly the Columbine High School massacre and its perpetrators). In his writings, Stair even called the Columbine shooters his heroes and wished he could have met them.[9][10]

From 2007, Stair had a presence on YouTube with his channel Pioneers Productions, which featured short sketches and collaborations he had done with other content creators.[11] By 2014, however, he announced that he was going in a different direction with his content, citing numerous unfortunate events that had occurred in his life during the previous year; this led to the creation of "Ember's Ghost Squad" (EGS), an animated series focused on a fictional organization based on the character of Ember McLain from the Nickelodeon animated series Danny Phantom.[12]

In the evening before the shooting, Stair uploaded a final video titled "The Westborough High Massacre". In it, he describes his hatred towards the people involved with the series through an angry prologue. It then featured a crudely animated sequence depicting him and one of the characters from EGS murdering students at a fictional high school, before ending with montages of previous videos explaining the motives behind the shooting.[13][14] He also managed nine Twitter accounts based on his characters, where he left links to journals and videos he uploaded on MediaFire.[15] He was living in nearby Dallas, Pennsylvania, with his parents and had lived in Pennsylvania all of his life.[16]

Aftermath and reactions[edit]

The shooting did not receive much attention outside of local news outlets, but multiple Pennsylvania public leaders expressed their sadness and condemned the shooter's actions. Nevertheless, in reaction to the shooting, the Weis Markets store closed until July 13.[17] A Weis Markets spokesperson said, "We are deeply saddened by the events of this morning. The safety of our associates, our customers, and the surrounding community is our top priority."[18]

Becki Hayes, the sister-in-law of victim Brian Hayes, set up a GoFundMe campaign to pay for immediate expenses. Hayes was also featured on Nancy Grace's podcast "Crime Stories with Nancy Grace".[19]

Store reopening and response[edit]

On June 14, 2017, Weis Markets announced the store would be reopened.[20] The original store front stayed intact but the interior was gutted and remodeled with a new floor layout. On July 13, 2017, the store was reopened.[21]

Many people who lived in the area questioned why Weis decided not to relocate the store. In an interview with WNEP, some even said they will not even enter the remodeled store due to what occurred there. However, some in the community accepted the supermarket chain's decision. One man said that it would have played into Stair's hands if the store had left. He explained, "The evil man who did this would have wanted them to move and would have wanted people to be scared and not want to go to the store after what he did."[22]

See also[edit]

Similar shootings
Related lists and articles

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Victims, Shooter Identified in Weis Markets Murder-Suicide". WNEP.com. 2017-06-08. Retrieved 2017-06-21.
  2. ^ "Weis Market shooting: 4 dead in murder-suicide at Pennsylvania supermarket". syracuse.com. Retrieved 2017-06-21.
  3. ^ Oberhaus, Daniel; Maiberg, Emanuel (June 12, 2017). "Why Isn't Twitter Deleting the Weis Market Shooter's 'Suicide Tapes'?". Motherboard. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  4. ^ McBride, Jessica (June 8, 2017). "Randy Stair: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Heavy.com. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  5. ^ WRITER, BY JOSEPH KOHUT, STAFF. "Witness describes supermarket shooting in Wyoming County". Retrieved 2017-06-21.
  6. ^ "Worker who posted violent online cartoons kills three, self". NY Daily News. Retrieved 2017-06-21.
  7. ^ "Four dead in shooting in Pennsylvania supermarket". Retrieved 2017-06-21.
  8. ^ Berkeley, Tapinto (June 12, 2017). "A GoFundMe Campaign is Accepting Donations for Family of Brian Hayes, Killed in the Grocery Store Massacre". TAPinto. Retrieved July 21, 2017.
  9. ^ "upermarket Killer Posted Video Describing Plan". US News. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  10. ^ Innis, Jamie. "Weis Markets shooter leaves behind videos of plans". WOLF. Retrieved 2017-06-21.
  11. ^ McBride, Jessica (June 8, 2017). "Randy Stair: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Heavy.com. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  12. ^ Morse, Brandon (June 12, 2017). "Pennsylvania supermarket shooter made disturbing videos predicting his murder spree". TheBlaze. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  13. ^ Morse, Brandon (June 12, 2017). "Pennsylvania supermarket shooter made disturbing videos predicting his murder spree". TheBlaze. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  14. ^ Scolforo, Mark; De Groot, Kristen (June 8, 2017). "Supermarket massacre shooter left chilling online trail". Associated Press. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  15. ^ Singleton, David (June 10, 2017). "Gunman's web posts suggest disconnect with the real world". Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  16. ^ Becker, Dave (2017-06-09). "Four dead in Weis Market shooting". PAHOMEPAGE. Retrieved 2017-06-21.
  17. ^ Marshall, C.J. (June 28, 2017). "County: Weis expected to re-open July 13". Retrieved June 29, 2017.
  18. ^ "Weis Markets issues statement about shooting". wkok.com. Retrieved 2017-06-21.
  19. ^ Duke, Alan (June 15, 2017). "Weis Supermarket massacre victim's family needs your help! Desert Storm vet's death robs family of father, husband". Crime Online. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
  20. ^ "Weis Markets set to reopen after deadly shooting". WNEP.com. 6 June 2017. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  21. ^ "Mixed feelings on supermarket reopening after mass shooting". Associated Press. July 9, 2017. Retrieved July 21, 2017.
  22. ^ "Community reacts to Weis reopening after shooting". WNEP.com. 28 June 2017. Retrieved 30 June 2017.