Orlando, Fla A gunman opened fire Friday in the offices of an engineering firm where he was let go more than two years ago, authorities said, killing one person and injuring five others.
Jason Rodriguez, 40, surrendered about three hours later, after officers saw him through the window of his mother’s home and asked him to come outside, Orlando Police Chief Val Demings said.
Asked by a reporter outside the police station why he did it, he replied: “Because they left me to rot.”
Demings said Rodriguez brought a handgun to the firm in a downtown office tower where he once worked as an engineer, but investigators are not sure what his motive was.
“This is a tragedy, no doubt about it, especially on the heels of the tragedy in Fort Hood that is on our minds,” Demings said. “I’m just glad we don’t have any more fatalities or any more injuries than we currently have.”
Charles W. Price, an attorney who represented Rodriguez in a bankruptcy case, declined to comment.
Camille Previlon told The Associated Press her uncle, engineer Guy Lungenbel, was shot in the back and was able to talk but had not said much about the shooting.
“He is stable,” she said. “He’s just hurting real bad in the back.”
Everyone who was shot was in the offices of Reynolds Smith & Hill, on the eighth floor. The five survivors were in stable condition, Demings said.
Company spokesman Mike Bernos said Rodriguez was an entry-level engineer who was fired in June 2007 after working there for a year.
“His performance wasn’t up to our standards, so we terminated him,” Bernos said. There had been no contact between the company and Rodriguez since then.
After the lunchtime shooting, people streamed out of the Legion Place building and some said they had barricaded themselves inside their offices while the gunman was on the loose.
Gerry Gilgo, who works on the floor where the shooting occurred, told The Associated Press she was meeting a co-worker at the elevators for lunch.
“She yelled, ‘There are gunshots! There are gunshots! Get back in your office,”’ Gilgo said.
Will Halpern, an attorney on the building’s 17th floor, was among the last group to be evacuated. He said the lobby was filled with about 20 officers in SWAT gear, carrying assault weapons, ready to search.
Interstate 4 was closed in both directions through downtown and nearby schools were locked down until the alleged gunman was caught.
Rows of ambulances lined up outside the building as police snipers took up positions around the building and officers on foot and horseback searched the area.