BREA — A Mobil Oil Co. employee on Saturday shot two co-workers--killing one man and seriously wounding another--in a parking lot where workers had gathered for a training session on hazardous materials, police said.
Immediately after the shooting, police arrested 56-year-old Rudy Vibangco Terrenal of Buena Park on suspicion of murder. Investigators said they do not know the motive. They identified the dead man as David Dawkins, 44, of Chino. Steven Bowling, 45, of Lakewood was shot in the chest and was in serious but stable condition at UCI Medical Center in Orange.
All three men worked as instrument technicians, said Barry Engelberg, a Mobil Oil refinery spokesman in Torrance. He said he knows both victims.
"They were team players of the first class," Engelberg said. "They're valuable people, and we're going to miss (Dawkins)."
Engelberg said the three men involved in the shooting were among six Mobil workers who had signed up for a training course at the offices of Burke Engineers, at 415 W. Lambert Road.
Dawkins was a supervisor and a 22-year veteran with Mobil Oil, and Bowling had worked for the company for 11 years, Engelberg said. He would not discuss Terrenal.
Bowling's brother, Mike, drove to the hospital from his Bakersfield home after learning that his brother had been shot.
"We're numb," Mike Bowling said Saturday night as he sat in the hospital waiting room with his wife, Mary, and Steve Bowling's girlfriend, Judy Voga, who was too upset to talk about the shooting.
"I think companies should monitor these types of employees," he said.
Mike Bowling said other Mobil workers told him that an employee had started shooting at another employee at the training school when his brother yelled at the shooter to stop. At that point, he said, the shooter turned and shot Steve Bowling too.
Mike Bowling said his brother, who was conscious Saturday night but unable to speak, was shot three times in the chest. He said doctors had removed all of the bullets except for one lodged close to the heart.
Steve Bowling is divorced and has a 15-year-old daughter, his brother said.
"We're just glad he's alive," Mary Bowling said.
Investigators said they received a call at 7:17 a.m. that two people were shot outside a two-story stone building, across the street from Tamarack Park, a popular playground for neighborhood children. Dawkins was pronounced dead at the scene.
Both the Mobil spokesman and Brea Police Sgt. Ed McDonald said they did not know what led to the shooting. However, police later said that Terrenal had gone to the training class after learning that the victims would be there.
"It's really unclear why this happened," Engelberg said. "It's still a mystery to us."
McDonald said Brea police arrested Terrenal at the scene without incident. A handgun was recovered at the scene.
The shooting has devastated the men's co-workers at the Torrance refinery, Engelberg said.
"We are all at a loss," he said, his voice cracking. "They are good people. This didn't have to happen."
Late Saturday, yellow police ribbons still cordoned off the parking lot where the shooting occurred, and chalk marks delineated the spots where the casings of five bullets had fallen.
Damion Merrill, whose family operates a telecommunications business in the building, said he was shocked to see the those ribbons Saturday.
"It frightened me," Merrill said. "This is a good, low-crime area."
Times staff writers David Haldane and David Reyes also contributed to this story.