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7 shot at beer distributor in Conn

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MANCHESTER, Conn. — Seven people were shot after a worker opened fire at a beer distribution company in Manchester, Conn., early Tuesday morning.

The shooter was also shot and killed, bringing the total number of those shot to eight, officials confirmed with NBC News. Police did not say exactly how badly those shot were injured, although a firefighter told The Hartford Courant that three are dead.

A company executive said a warehouse worker who had been called to resign opened fire at Hartford Distributors Inc., located at 131 Chapel Road in Manchester, about 10 miles east of Hartford, Conn.

State police told the Hartford Courant that the suspect, a man named Omar Thomas, shot himself as police approached.

Hartford Hospital spokesperson said three shooting victims had been transported to the hospital between 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. One of the victims is in critical condition, another is in fair condition and a third is in unknown condition, according to Hartford Hospital spokesperson Michaela Donnelly.

Brett Hollander, Hartford Distributors' director of marketing, said about 50 to 70 people were in the warehouse at the time of the shooting Tuesday morning and that shifts were just changing.

Hollander said the company is "just trying to figure out who's shot, who's not accounted for."

A witness who works across from Hartford Distributors told NBC News that the building is currently on lockdown and Chapel Road has been shut down. The witness, who identified herself as Kerry, said she heard three shots around 7:30 a.m. and then a flurry of police activity.

The Hartford Courant reported that a plume of black smoke rose from the building shortly after the shooting, which occurred shortly before 7:30 a.m. The black smoke turned white as firefighters arrived, according to the newspaper.

Hollander, whose family owns the distributor, said he did not know the shooter well and didn't know how long he had worked there.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38535909/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/

Edited by spookyturtle

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Searching for a motive...

Did they run out of "near beer?"


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I don't understand workplace shootings... especially since most people hate their jobs.


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update:

Family: Racial bias caused Conn. gunman to snap

MANCHESTER, Conn. – Omar Thornton sat calmly in a meeting with union representative and his supervisors as they showed a video of him stealing beer from the distributor where he worked.

Busted, he didn't put up a fight, company officials said. He quietly signed a letter of resignation and was headed for the door when he pulled out a gun and started firing — "cold as ice," as one survivor described it.

In the end, Thornton killed eight people, injured two, then turned the gun on himself in a rampage Tuesday at Hartford Distributors that union and company officials said they would not have anticipated from someone with no history of complaints or disciplinary problems.

Yet relatives say Thornton, 34, finally cracked after suffering racial harassment in a company where he said he was singled out for being black in a predominantly white work force.

"Everybody's got a breaking point," said Joanne Hannah, the mother of Thornton's longtime girlfriend.

After shooting his co-workers, Thornton hid as police moved in. He called his mother, who tried for 10 minutes to talk him out of killing himself, his uncle Will Holliday told reporters.

"He said, 'I killed the five racists that was there that was bothering me,'" Holliday said. "He said, 'The cops are going to come in so I am going to take care of myself.'"

Authorities said they found him dead.

Thornton had said he found a picture of a noose and a racial epithet written on a bathroom wall, said Hannah, of Enfield, whose daughter Kristi had dated Thornton for the past eight years. Her daughter told her that Thornton's supervisors said they would talk to his co-workers.

Brett Hollander, whose family owns the distributor, denied any racial bias. And a union official said Thornton had not filed a complaint of racism with the union or any government agency.

"I can assure you there has never been any racial discrimination at our company," Hollander said.

Teamsters official Christopher Roos said, "This is a disgruntled employee who shot a bunch of people."

Company vice president Steve Hollander told The Associated Press he was stunned by Thornton's rampage after a meeting in which he calmly agreed to resign instead of being fired:

"He was cool and calm. He didn't yell. He was cold as ice. He didn't protest when we were meeting with him to show him the video of him stealing. He didn't contest it. He didn't complain. He didn't argue. He didn't admit or deny anything. He just agreed to resign. And then he just unexplainably pulled out his gun and started blasting."

Steve Hollander said he thinks Thornton had guns stashed in his lunch box. The executive said two people standing near him were fatally shot in the head, but he was only grazed in the jaw and the arm.

"He shot at me twice and hit me a couple times," he said. "By just the grace of God, I don't know how he missed (killing) me."

About 50 to 70 people were in the Hartford Distributors warehouse about 10 miles east of Hartford during a shift change when the gunman opened fire, said Brett Hollander, Steve Hollander's cousin.

"I was on the phone with 911 and then I saw him running outside of my office window, shooting his gun, carrying his lunch box, which must have had his weapons in it," Steve Hollander said. "It doesn't seem real to me now."

The shooting was over in minutes. The victims were found all over the complex, and authorities said they didn't know whether Thornton fired randomly or targeted people.

Workers flooded out of the building as police officers raced into it, Manchester police Chief Marc Montminy told the town's board of directors Tuesday evening.

"Some were hiding in the woods and some were hiding under cars," he said.

State police found weapons in the suspect's car, Montminy said, without providing details.

Thornton was not a problem employee and had not had any previous disciplinary issues, said Gregg Adler, a lawyer for the Teamsters Local 1035. He said he was not aware of how much beer Thornton was accused of stealing.

Kristi Hannah had been with him Monday night and had no indication he was planning anything violent, her mother said.

Joanne Hannah described Thornton as an easygoing guy who liked to play sports and video games. She said he had a pistol permit and planned to teach her daughter how to use a gun.

Police declined to release the names of those killed.

Among the dead was Bryan Cirigliano, 51, of Newington, president of Teamsters 1035, according to the union. He had been Thornton's representative at Tuesday's disciplinary hearing, the union said.

Another victim was Doug Scruton, 56, who had worked at the warehouse for nearly 30 years, said his wife, Mikal O'Brien. Anticipating his upcoming retirement, the couple had recently moved to Middleton, N.H., where he loved to visit the White Mountains and beaches. He stayed with a friend in Connecticut during the week.

"It was part of our plan for him to be able to retire in the place that he loved. But he's never going to be able to enjoy that now," she said. "He was just the sweetest, gentlest, kind soul."

Bill Ackerman, a 51-year-old warehouseman, also was killed, said his girlfriend, Stephanie Laurin.

"I was like, 'Where's Billy, where's Billy?' and they said they hadn't seen him. And then one of his co-workers told me ... that he saw the shooter go to where Billy's room is that he works in," she said.

Ackerman, who enjoyed playing golf and rooting for the Boston Red Sox, had worked for the company for about 20 years, she said.

The Hartford Courant identified other victims as Victor James, 59, of Windsor; Edwin Kennison Jr., 49, of East Hartford; and Craig Pepin, 50, of South Windsor.

Steve Hollander was treated at Hartford Hospital and released. Another person was being treated there, but the hospital would not comment on the patient's condition.

It was the nation's deadliest shooting since 13 people were killed at Fort Hood, Texas, in November. A military psychiatrist is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in that case.

In Connecticut, a state lottery worker in Newington gunned down four supervisors in 1998 before committing suicide, and six people were killed in 1974 in botched robbery at a bakery in New Britain. Two men were convicted in that shooting.

Hartford Distributors has never had any complaints filed against it, the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities said.

The Hollander family is widely respected in Manchester, said state Rep. Ryan Barry, a lifelong resident. He said the family-owned Hartford Distributors sponsors local sports teams.

"Ten seconds before he started shooting, if you had asked me, does he look like he's going to react in any way? I would have said no, he seems calm," Steve Hollander said. "It makes no sense the people he killed. Why would somebody do such a thing? They were his co-workers. They never ... harmed him in any way."

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Well, if you're the only black guy at a white company, racism is certainly a possibility. But still, he did steal the beer so it's not like he didn't live up to the worst stereotypes. He frankly should have been happy he was allowed to resign and not fired.

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Well, if you're the only black guy at a white company, racism is certainly a possibility. But still, he did steal the beer so it's not like he didn't live up to the worst stereotypes. He frankly should have been happy he was allowed to resign and not fired.

i'd like to think that if there was any racism going on, the union woulda been all over that.


* ~ * Charles * ~ *
 

I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy.

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i'd like to think that if there was any racism going on, the union woulda been all over that.

unions aren't the magical ponies liberals make them out to be. they're more often than not dominated by a single clique of people, and that clique is often based on race and ethnicity. for example, in NYC there are unions which are essentially run by the guyanese and if you're not one of them the support you get from the union will be lukewarm at best. and if you cross them, then they will side with management in a heartbeat to fu## you the hell over.

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This is wrong in the sense that it suspends beer production at that company! How dare he interrupt such a thing! It's beyond criminal! :whistle:


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unions aren't the magical ponies liberals make them out to be. they're more often than not dominated by a single clique of people, and that clique is often based on race and ethnicity. for example, in NYC there are unions which are essentially run by the guyanese and if you're not one of them the support you get from the union will be lukewarm at best. and if you cross them, then they will side with management in a heartbeat to fu## you the hell over.

My experience with unions has been totally different. It seemed if somebody farted in the wrong direction there was grounds to file a grievance. It seemed that they wanted to justify there dues by taking even the stupidest complaints and making a issue of it.

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My experience with unions has been totally different. It seemed if somebody farted in the wrong direction there was grounds to file a grievance. It seemed that they wanted to justify there dues by taking even the stupidest complaints and making a issue of it.

well, your first hand experience trumps my second hand hearsay.

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How very sad. :(


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Doesnt matter what color he is! Hes a thief and a freakin whack job. To come to the conclusion that there was racism based on the fact there was only one black person working there has more to do with the personal opinion of ppl commenting here.


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unions aren't the magical ponies liberals make them out to be. they're more often than not dominated by a single clique of people, and that clique is often based on race and ethnicity. for example, in NYC there are unions which are essentially run by the guyanese and if you're not one of them the support you get from the union will be lukewarm at best. and if you cross them, then they will side with management in a heartbeat to fu## you the hell over.

I was on my union's collective bargaining unit. This was essentially how it was in our union, which is one of the largest in the country. They will fight for you if you file a grievance, but when it comes to negotiating points, the cool kids only fight for perks that are really relavent to them.

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You should work on your reading skills.

To come to the conclusion that there was racism based on the fact there was only one black person working there has more to do with the personal opinion of ppl commenting here.

Well, if you're the only black guy at a white company, racism is certainly a possibility. But still, he did steal the beer so it's not like he didn't live up to the worst stereotypes. He frankly should have been happy he was allowed to resign and not fired.

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unions aren't the magical ponies liberals make them out to be. they're more often than not dominated by a single clique of people, and that clique is often based on race and ethnicity. for example, in NYC there are unions which are essentially run by the guyanese and if you're not one of them the support you get from the union will be lukewarm at best. and if you cross them, then they will side with management in a heartbeat to fu## you the hell over.

dunno, most people i know that belong to a union know the union will be their hired pit bull if something shady is going on.


* ~ * Charles * ~ *
 

I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy.

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