After warehouse driver, Omar Thornton, was asked to quit, he went on a shooting rampage at the Hartford Distributors, a beer distribution center where he worked. Before killing workers and then turning the gun on himself, he had previously complained about racial harassment at work.
In Tuesday’s shooting eight were confirmed dead, while two were wounded and one in critical condition. John Hollis, a member of the company told reporters that Thornton had been called in for a disciplinary hearing. Before killing himself, Thornton called his mother to, “say goodbye and [that] he loved everybody.”
According to the mother of his ex-girlfriend, Joanne Hannah, a picture of a noose and a racial epithet had been hung on a bathroom wall at the beer distributorship. She said her daughter told her that Thornton’s supervisors had not responded to his complaints.
About 50 to 70 people were in the warehouse during a shift change when the gunman opened fire, said Brett Hollander, whose family owns Hartford Distributors. Adding to the chaos was a fire at the warehouse, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) east of Hartford, that was put out. Police did not know whether the fire was related to the shootings.
Among the victims was Hollander’s cousin, a vice president at the company who was shot in the arm and the face. Hollander said he thought his cousin would be OK. “There was a guy that was supposed to, was asked to resign, to come in to resign and chose not to and shot my cousin and my co-workers,” Brett Hollander told the AP.