On Wednesday, a United Parcel Service employee , in San Francisco, California, Jimmy Lam, shot and killed three fellow employees, all drivers, before turning his weapon on himself and committing suicide. Lam had reportedly filed a grievance because he was asked to work too much overtime. Assistant Police Chief Toney Chaplin told reporters at a press conference that Lam had also shot two other employees, who both survived.
CNN reported that police responded to the United Parcel Service San Francisco Customer Service Center after they had gotten a report about an active shooter at approximately 8:55 a.m. PT. There are about 350 people employed at the package sorting and delivery facility.
Chaplin stated that when the police arrived on the scene, they were told that the suspect was still somewhere inside the building. According to Chaplin, the suspect was soon found by a police “contact team.” Chaplin said that Lam had “an assault pistol” in his possession.
As the police officers conducted a search for Lam, the other employees still inside the United Parcel Service building exited it with their hands up in the air, at the request of the police. Chaplin stated that the suspect then put his gun to his head and pulled the trigger. He said that none of the police officers involved fired a shot while the confrontation was happening.
When the police initially responded to the United Parcel Service facility in San Francisco, Chaplin said they did not know if the suspect was an actual employee there, or if was somebody dressed up like an employee, possibly committing an act of terror. Later, it was confirmed that the suspect was an employee at the facility who had a beef against working too much overtime.
According to the Washington Post, an official with a local Teamsters Union, Joseph Cilia, said that Lam had filed the grievance complaining about working excessive overtime in March. Lam asked to be relieved of working any more overtime, but Celia stated that he had not seemed to be angry at what happened and he said he did not understand why Lam decided to open fire on Wednesday morning and shoot his fellow employees. According to Cilia, the two other employees who were shot, who were also both drivers, were treated at the hospital and released, and will recover from their injuries.
Besides the employees who were shot, Chaplin stated that five others were injured during the incident. He said they probably were injured while evacuating from the United Parcel Service building. At least some of the victims were transported to Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital where a spokesman for the hospital, Brent Andrew, said they were treated for their injuries.
Chaplin said the police searched the building but did not find any other victims inside. He added that all of the witnesses have been interviewed and the police are in the process of talking to the families of the victims.
The United Parcel Service building where the shooting occurred is in a residential neighborhood, in the Potrero Hill area. Due to the confrontation between the police and the suspect and the shooting that took place, residents were warned to avoid the area.
NBC News reported that on Wednesday morning, six employees were involved in the shooting, including the suspect who took his own life when confronted by the police. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee described the shooting as a “senseless act of violence.” He said that “Even one shooting and one victim is too many.”
Family members of one of the victims identified him as being Mike Lefiti, 46. He leaves behind a wife and children and co-workers knew him as a man who was “humble and always happy.”
In San Francisco, California, on Wednesday morning, United Parcel Service employee Jimmy Lam shot and killed three employees and wounded two others before the police confronted him, and he put his gun to his head and committed suicide. Five other employees were injured, according to the police, probably while the building was being evacuated. The investigation into the shooting at the UPS facility is ongoing.
By John Samuels
Photo Courtesy Google Earth