A “disgruntled employee” who was recently fired from a business near Orlando, Fla., fatally shot five of his former co-workers before killing himself on Monday morning, according to local law enforcement.
Four of the victims died at the scene, while a fifth died at a hospital, authorities said. Seven other employees were in the Fiamma Inc. building at the time of the attack and were unharmed. Fiamma is an Italy-based manufacturer of accessories for motor vehicles.
Local media have reported that at least one of the survivors was in the bathroom during the shooting. The survivor reportedly called her sister and told her, “My boss is dead.”
The suspected shooter was fired from the company in April, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said at a news conference Monday morning. There’s no indication that he had ties to “any subversive type organization” or terrorist group, Demings said, and authorities believe the shooting was “likely a workplace violence incident.”
The sheriff said the former employee had a minor criminal record and that police had visited Fiamma Inc. several years ago after a call that involved the shooter. Demings added that the suspect “allegedly battered another employee” in that incident but no charges were ultimately filed.
The suspect reportedly returned Monday to his former workplace armed with a handgun and knife. He “shot five innocent people this morning and then turned the gun on himself,” Demings said.
Later in the day, the sheriff identified the shooter as 45-year-old John Robert Neumann Jr., and said Neumann was “certainly singling out the individuals he shot” and had a “negative relationship” with at least one of them, The Associated Press reports.
Demings said Neumann was an Army veteran, honorably discharged in 1999, who did not have a concealed weapons permit, the wire service says.
The AP has more on the shooting:
“State and federal law enforcement officers converged on the awning business in an industrial park in Orlando after a woman ran out and called 911 from a tile business across the street, said Yamaris Gomez, that store’s owner.
” ‘All she kept saying was he was holding a gun and told her to get out,’ Gomez said.
“That woman had been hired after Neumann was fired in April, so he probably did not recognize her, the sheriff said.
“Officers arrived two minutes later, the sheriff said. The FBI also responded, said Ron Hopper, who runs the FBI’s Orlando office.”
Almost a year ago, an attack at a gay nightclub in Orlando left 49 people dead, in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott referenced the Pulse shooting in a statement Monday, saying, “Over the past year, the Orlando community has been challenged like never before. … I ask all Floridians to pray for the families impacted by this senseless act of violence.”
Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs told reporters that “certainly the situation here appears to be very different from the situation at Pulse. … I will just say what I said earlier, I would ask our citizens if you see something that troubles you, please go the extra mile, make the call.”