The murder rate is through the roof in many of America's big cities with a dozen communities setting all-time record highs for 2021.
Some blame it on the pandemic, or democrats and their "defund the police" politics and policies. some accuse weak prosecutors of being soft on crime and criminals, some blame it on the Biden administration's general lack of focus.
Get our free mobile app

Why The Increase in Killings

 On the flip side, others blame systemic racism and the injustices of capitalism.  And so the ping pong ball of blame bounces back and forth across our TV screens every day.  Neither side making much of a dent in the other side's strongly held beliefs.
But whatever the cause, the numbers are real and they represent a real loss and plenty of pain for people in our communities.  And senseless killings aren't confined to America's biggest urban centers.
Sometimes they happen at a neighborhood grocery store in places like Richland, Washington.

Fatal Shooting In Supermarket

CBS News first reported:

Aaron Kelly allegedly entered the Fred Meyer store at 11:01 a.m., pushing a cart with a duffel bag and a backpack, Richland police officials said at a news conference Tuesday. He encountered 38-year-old Justin Krumbah minutes later, and the two had a 10-15 second interaction before Kelly opened fire, police said. The specifics of the interaction were not clear, though police said they do not believe Kelly had any prior connection to either of the victims.  Officers responded soon after. Krumbah was pronounced dead at the scene, and another victim was transported to a local hospital where they remain in critical condition, police said.

Suspect Is In Custody

Kelly fled the scene but was stopped in his car a few hours later by a U.S. Marshals Service Task Force. Friends and family told police Kelly's mental condition had "declined" in recent months.

The friends and family of the deceased, Justin Krumbah, have started a GoFundMe to cover funeral costs.  Donors have left comments of remembrance and consolation and more than 12-thousand dollars.

Friends and co-workers are also working to help the other victim, Mark A. Hill, the Fred Meyer employee also shot inside the Richland store Monday morning, who is in critical condition after surgery.

Friend Wants Us All To Know About Justin

So just like that, we have another death, a needless loss from the family of man and now the attention will swing to accused shooter Aaron Kelly, his guns, his mental health, etc.  The names and the details of the two shooting victims will fade in our memories.

But not for Rich Startin.  Rich says he knew the deceased, Justin Krumbah, for more than 20 years. According to Startin, his friend Justin was an excellent mechanic, a good man, and a friend.

He doesn't want the goodness of Justin Krumbah to be lost among the criminal details, politics, or process of the case.

He called the radio show this morning to make sure the audience knew that Justin Krumbah was more than a statistic on a crime sheet.

 

Here's our conversation.

How Many in America: From Guns to Ghost Towns

Can you take a guess as to how many public schools are in the U.S.? Do you have any clue as to how many billionaires might be residing there? Read on to find out—and learn a thing or two about each of these selection’s cultural significance and legacy along the way.

More From 94.5 KATS