Oregon Safeway shooting hero Donald Surrett Jr was a PEDOPHILE and jailed for 10 years while in the army
Regardless of his past, 'his actions in the moment were courageous and for those actions, he deserves praise,' Bend Police said
BEND, OREGON: A Safeway employee who was praised as a hero for confronting a shooter inside an Oregon grocery store on Sunday, August, 28 was convicted of child sex crimes while in the Army. Donald Surrett Jr died while trying to stop Ethan Blair Miller’s shooting rampage. Police said Surrett’s decision cost him his life but likely saved the lives of others.
Ethan Miller, the 20-year-old shooter, entered a grocery store in Oregon and used an AR-15 to kill two people. US Army spokeswoman Madison Bonzo said Surrett, 66 was demoted from sergeant first class to private as a result of the conviction. Sheila Miller, a Bend Police Department spokeswoman, said, "Mr Surrett´s background does not change the fact that in this instance, when faced with great peril, he acted heroically in attacking and attempting to disarm an active shooter in his place of work."
Surrett hid behind a produce cart until the gunman, who had shot and killed 84-year-old Glenn Bennet near the store entry, looked the other way and then attacked him with a knife, and was shot dead. The shooter killed himself as police entered the building.
Safeway shooting in Bend, Oregon— The Astute Galoot (@TheAstuteGaloot) August 29, 2022
— now imagine if that was your local
grocery store’s front door :department_store: pic.twitter.com/9akA29djYZ
According to military and Oregon State Police records, Surrett in 1994 pleaded guilty to two counts of carnal knowledge and two counts of indecent acts while he was serving in the US Army, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported. He was 38 at the time and served 26 years in the military.
Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel confirmed Surrett was convicted of an 'indecent act with a minor' in a military court. While investigatng the case, police learned that Surrett was a pedophile who was sentenced to 10 years in prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. US Army spokeswoman Madison Bonzo said Surrett was demoted from sergeant first class to private as a result of the conviction. He did not serve the entire sentence, and moved to Oregon in the early 2000s, according to public records. His ex-wife Debora Jean Surrett, who was married to him from 1975 to 1995, said that Surrett served in the Army for 20 years as a combat engineer but wasn’t deployed to active combat zones. “They’re trained to be the first ones to go into war and the last ones to come home,” she said.
Surrett did not re-offend after his release, and law enforcement considered him a Level 1 offender. This is the lowest classification in the state and an indication he was not considered at high risk for re-offense. A spokesperson for Safeway’s parent company said Surrett had “cleared a third-party background check but that the company did not know he was a sex offender." Sheila Miller said, "While Mr Surrett´s past may complicate how people feel about his legacy, his actions in the moment were courageous and for those actions, he deserves praise."