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Man kills 2 Edison co-workers

He critically wounds two others at utility's Irwindale offices, then turns gun on himself.

December 17, 2011|Richard Winton and Angel Jennings
  • Sheriff's deputies arrive at the Southern California Edison office complex in Irwindale where a man shot and killed two co-workers and critically wounded two others before turning the gun on himself.
Sheriff's deputies arrive at the Southern California Edison office… (Christina House / For the…)

An employee went on a shooting rampage at Southern California Edison offices in Irwindale on Friday, killing two co-workers and critically wounding two others before taking his own life.

The man opened fire at the utility's information technology offices about 1:30 p.m. He methodically picked off co-workers, including some Edison supervisors, a source told The Times.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday, December 20, 2011 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 4 News Desk 1 inches; 53 words Type of Material: Correction
Irwindale shooting: An item in the Page 1 index in the Dec. 17 Section A erred in saying a man with a rifle had opened fire at Southern California Edison offices in Irwindale. As reported in the full article, in the LATExtra section, the weapon recovered at the scene was a semiautomatic handgun.

"He told some people to leave and he was very deliberate about who he shot," the source said. "He did not like management."

One man was found dead next to his work cubicle. The shooter was lying nearby in an open area, a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman said.

A third man was pronounced dead at a hospital. The other two employees, a man and a woman, remained hospitalized in critical condition Friday evening, Sheriff's Lt. Holly Francisco said.

Sheriff's homicide detectives recovered a semiautomatic handgun at the scene.

Francisco said it appeared the gunman and the victims had all worked together. The shooter was at work in the morning, she added.

"We don't know if he left and came back," she said. "Witnesses are being interviewed now."

Theodore F. Craver Jr., chief executive of Edison International, confirmed that the gunman and three of the shooting victims were employees of the information technology unit. The fourth victim, one of those critically wounded, was a contract worker.

Neither the shooter nor the victims were identified because relatives are still being notified.

"It is a very sad day for us," Craver said outside the gates of the Edison complex. "Our hearts and prayers go out to families of the employees."

About 1,100 people, mostly information technology staff, work in the offices, Craver said. Employees need a key card to get into the facility, he said. The gated complex at 4910 Rivergrade Road, just off the 605 Freeway, consists of two, two-story buildings and the three-story building where the shooting took place.

When the shooting started, employees hunkered down in their offices or break rooms, piling equipment in front of the doors, one worker said.

Baldwin Park Police Capt. Michael Taylor said SWAT officers feared there might be a second gunman and searched the building room by room, rescuing barricaded employees along the way. Some of the workers were seen in TV news reports walking out of the building with their hands up to show they had no weapons.

Employees said Edison, in an email, instructed them not to speak to the media. Hours after the shooting, several workers huddled outside the gates, crying and hugging a manager.

Nearby schools were locked down for a brief period until authorities were sure that the gunman was dead.

--

richard.winton@latimes.com

angel.jennings@latimes.com

Times staff writer Gale Holland contributed to this report.

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