Shoplifter hatchet attack ear
Police said Adrian Jess Kramer, 31, Longview, is wanted on suspicion of first-degree assault and third-degree theft. He has previous convictions for possession of a dangerous weapon, meth possession, shoplifting, burglary and assault.
He remained at large Tuesday.
Detective Sgt. John Reeves said the investigation shows that Kramer is the man who swung a small ax or hatchet at a store security employee who attempted to stop him shortly after noon Monday as Kramer left the store without paying for a cart full of CDs, a tire chain and other items. The hatchet struck the employee and severed his left ear.
Kramer left the scene in a Honda Accord. Police recovered the unoccupied vehicle on Memorial Park Drive off 38th Avenue. Reeves said officers went to a possible location for Kramer but he fled before police arrived.
The victim, 33, was transported to Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, where he underwent surgery to have the ear reattached. He was discharged from the hospital Monday night.
Fred Meyer spokeswoman Melinda Merrill said Tuesday the victim "just wants to recover" right now and isn't willing to be interviewed. His fellow employees are supporting him, and the store has counseling available, she said.
Longview employees are "a big family. They'll be there for each other and they'll be there for him," she said.
The guard has worked for Fred Meyer since 2006 and has been with the Longview store since 2010, she said.
Christmas shoppers needn't be concerned, as violent incidents are rare at Fred Meyer's 132 stores and "you don't see a lot going on" at the Longview store, she said.
"I hope people will not think this is indicative of what happens in our stores," she said. "Our stores are safe. ... Our employees our well-trained. The safety of employees and our customers has always been top priority."