Krystle Dikes had just started working as a stocker at Martin's Super Market in Elkhart, Ind., though her real passion was caring for children and the 20-year-old continued to take babysitting jobs.
Rachelle Godfread, 44, had recently moved from southern Indiana to Elkhart, where she was closer to her son who played basketball at the South Bend campus of Indiana University.
On Wednesday night, the two were about 12 aisles apart in the supermarket when Shawn Walter Bair, 22, walked in and began firing. Both died before police shot Bair dead, not far from Godfread's body, according to Indiana State Police.
Bair also fired at another store worker but missed, and briefly took the store manager hostage before police confronted him, the state police said.
Authorities said they don't know why Bair went on his shooting rampage, though he may have had "some type of relationship with one of the victims." Friends said Dikes may have known him.
"Obviously there was some type of planning that went into this," said Indiana State Police Sgt. Trent Smith. "This wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment thing. . . It's going to take several weeks for the details to be worked out."
Smith credited the quick action of Elkhart police for saving lives. “There’s no doubt that Elkhart police were prepared. They knew what they were confronted with. They acted with bravery,” he said.
The trooper also credited several store workers with helping to get shoppers out of the building when the first shots were fired. "There are good stories that come out of a bad one," Smith said.
Smith said surveillance cameras caught much of the incident, which began around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday when Bair walked into the store, about two miles from his home.
"He was in there for about 20 minutes, walking around," Smith said. "He was making text messages or phone calls. At 10:05 p.m., things started to change."
Bair pulled a .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun from underneath a heavy coat and "killed the first person in the store. . .a female employee of Martin's. 20 years old. She had worked at Martin's a short time... She was a stocker."
Bair continued to walk through the store, approached another worker, talked to her and she ran, Smith said. "He fired at her and missed."
"Within a matter of seconds," shoppers began running from the store as Bair passed several more aisles, Smith said. "We saw people running. We saw people hiding."
Bair then "saw his next victim," Godfread, who had been shopping. "He shot her multiple times."
Bair walked up to the woman and turned a corner and saw the store manager walking up, Smith said
"As the manager walked down the aisle, he came face-to-face" with Bair and was ordered to his knees, Smith said. "He was in a praying position. You could see the gunman waving the gun at him, taunting him at times."
Around this time, Elkhart police officers were entering the store, Smith said. The gunman was distracted and "the manager saw his attention was diverted and ran."
The gunman continued going through the store and found himself in the same aisle as the officers. "They were 15 to 20 feet from each other," Smith said. The officers opened fire and killed Bair. Police recovered the gun and a large hunting knife.
All three people died on the scene.
Dikes had just started at the store within the last month. The day before the shooting, Dikes had grabbed lunch with her mother at the deli inside Martin’s while looking for apartments.
“She was happy,” Juanita Whitacre said. “She and I had lunch together, we went shopping together.”
Whitacre described her daughter as a caring young woman who loved children.
She was caring for two special needs children and had taken child-care classes in high school and at a local career center, Whitacre said.
“She’s been babysitting for people for a long time and taking care of people’s children,” she said. “She took (classes) in high school to learn more about it and become better trained.”
Dikes liked art, photography and animals. Whitacre said her daughter was popular and caring. “She was very independent and free spirited,” Whitacre said.
She did not know if her daughter had known Bair. A friend of Dikes told the Elkhart Truth that she may have.
Neighbors of Godfread said she had moved in the last several months from Evansville. Her son Joe plays on the University of Indiana basketball team in South Bend. His father is Dan Godfread, who played in the NBA for a few years.
Joe Godfread posted a message on his Facebook page Thursday: “For those who don’t know, my mom was shot and killed last night at a grocery store. R.I.P. Rachelle Godfread we love you.”
Last August, his mother had posted this message on her Facebook page: Twenty years ago today I was blessed with the most wonderful person. Happy 20th Birthday BEAUTIFUL Joe!! I Love You XoXo."
Smith said police entered the store as soon as they arrived, but Dikes and Godfread had already been shot. In the past, those first officers would likely have waited for back-up before entering the store, Smith noted. But the rash of mass shootings in recent years has changed police tactics, he said.
"We don't wait. . .Seconds could cost lives," Smith said.
He estimated that it took officers three minutes to reach the store and another minute before they confronted Bair. "You can only imagine how long it seemed for the people inside the store," Smith said.
Smith said investigators were still looking into Bair's background and how he got the gun. Smith said people at the store knew Bair because he lived nearby and would frequent the supermarket. "They never had a problem with Mr. Bair before."