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A gunman killed a member of staff and a customer at an Indiana grocery store before being shot dead by police, officials said early Thursday.

The man had his gun pointed at a third person when officers arrived at Martin's Super Market in the city of Elkhart, Indiana State Police Sgt. Trent Smith said in a press conference early Thursday.

When he trained his weapon on the officers they shot him dead, Smith said.

"We're pretty confident that Elkart's quick response to the scene most definitely saved some lives tonight," Smith said.Police said they do not know the relationship between the alleged shooter and the victims. They believe the women were a member of staff and a customer, one in her late teens or early twenties and the other in her mid-forties, Smith told the press conference in a video posted online by NBC affiliate WNDU.

Smith said it was a "huge crime scene" and that shots had been fired from one end of the store to the next. The victims were found 10 to 12 aisles apart.

Police rushed to the scene shortly after 10 p.m. on Wednesday after receiving a 911 call. They heard gunshots when they arrived and rushed to the section of the store from which the shots were fired.

Smith described the gunman as white man in his twenties who lived in the area. He said he was armed with a semiautomatic handgun and a large knife.

When it was put to him at the press conference that people in the relatively small city of Elkhart were horrified that someone would start shooting in a supermarket, Smith said: "That's today's society, unfortunately. We live in that world.

"There's not a day that goes by where we are not learning about a school shooting, or at a business. We hoped that it would never come to our home, and here it is. You cannot walk around in life afraid."