Archive for Friday, November 6, 2009

Officials: Gunman apprehended after killing 1, injuring 5 others at Orlando office building

November 6, 2009, 12:46 p.m. Updated November 6, 2009, 2:31 p.m.


— 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.


Steve Jacob 8 years, 1 month ago

This kind of stuff happens everyday in America. Maybe this is more noteworthy due to the shooting of yesterday.

yankeevet 8 years, 1 month ago

Too many people; and too few jobs in this country; not enough of the pie for everyone............

puddleglum 8 years, 1 month ago

hey look! here we go again! can't wait for Agnostix's fruitless name-calling to begin.


BigPrune 8 years, 1 month ago

But we are out of the recession the Administration and news media says so, right next to the 10%+ unemployment being the highest since 1983.

Danielle Brunin 8 years, 1 month ago

Muslim pychiatrists and now Hispanic engineers! This country is going to hell in a handbasket.

Danielle Brunin 8 years, 1 month ago

Muslims in the military aren't the problem. Hispanics in engineering are the problem. How many lives will be lost before we ban them from becoming professional engineers? (sarcasm off)

Danielle Brunin 8 years, 1 month ago

You'll probably have to keep waiting because I'm not that funny. Before I left for the afternoon, there was a coworker discussing the Fort Hood shooting and someone said that the shooter was a psychiatrist to which another coworker replied, "A Muslim psychiatrist." Since I'm a Muslim, I get really sick of people adding that on as an adjective so I figured we might as well start identifying everyone who does something wrong by ethnicity or religion, thus the shooter was a Hispanic engineer. I could have said catholic, but not all hispanics are catholic and that would be an unfair stereotype. Got it?

denak 8 years, 1 month ago

Rodentgirl16 is right. You can't look at these two incidents and then condemn a whole race or religion.

How many times a day do we turn on t.v. and a White or African-American native born citizen has committed an atrocity?

If I remember correctly, it was a white guy who massacred people at the Luby's resturant right outside of Fort Hood.

Secondly, the engineers name is Jason Rodriqguez. Which would indicate to me that he is, at the very least, second or third generation American. Most first generation Americans still use traditional names from where their parents came from.

We don't know why Major Hasan killed the soldiers at Fort Hood. We can surmise that the motive for Jason's Rodriguez's killing was the fact that he got fired. Obviously, that has nothing to do with his heritage.


Danielle Brunin 8 years, 1 month ago

Thanks Dena! A psycho is a psycho and that transcends religion, race, orientation, etc.

jonas_opines 8 years, 1 month ago

Applause for Dena. Too bad it will make not a dent in the hateful idiocy espoused by some.

Scott Drummond 8 years, 1 month ago

Punitive bankruptcy laws and the scaling back of society's safety net have consequences.

bluerain 8 years, 1 month ago

Hmmm, it's hard to really tell what triggered both individuals, OK & FL, to act so violently.......racially related oppression/discrimination nicely presented as poor job performance is just another way to discriminate against minorities. I have no doubt that the racial minority groups have suffered the most from the recession. They are usually the last ones hired and the first ones laid off or even fired.

Danielle Brunin 8 years, 1 month ago

It doesn't particularly hurt my feelings. Is there a sane "al-Qaedist" out there? It seems as though anyone who has gone that fanatical is a psycho, and that goes for members of all religions, not just Muslims. I'm also curious to which sweet parts you are referring?

jonas_opines 8 years, 1 month ago

"Hmmm, it's hard to really tell what triggered both individuals, OK & FL, to act so violently……."

Perhaps the problem is trying to tie these acts to one single cause. It seems that generally when people do it, it revolves around the agenda of the person doing the analysis.

jonas_opines 8 years, 1 month ago

For instance, simply reading the links under "more like this" show incidents that fall outside of all of the above-proposed theories, except for the ones about random acts by random people.

Shane Garrett 8 years, 1 month ago

All this typing and finger pointing. Read the Kansas City Star, someone is shot every day in KC. Shocking!!! must have been a blue-skinned flying spermatazoon worshiping monster. Cause People would never shoot at one another for any reason.

Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 1 month ago

rodentgirl, I liked your comment earlier about banning Hispanics as engineers. It made me laugh. Of course we know that all good Hispanics are Catholic. :-) But, think about this. If the soldiers who tortured at that prison and took the pictures had possessed a religious belief would they have done what they did? Not according to the faith I was taught at St. Johns which also teaches respect for other faiths. There is a lot of prejudice in troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistant doubtless fueled by the stress of the situation. But it is not the best way to win friends for America and it does a great harm to those who are not WASP's and want to serve. My daughter who works at Walmart told me she is horrified by how Muslim shoppers are treated by other shoppers. "If looks could kill, they would all be dead,"

monkey_c 8 years, 1 month ago

Rodent asks - I'm also curious to which sweet parts you are referring? That made me chuckle. I guess I was wondering the same thing. Not being of the Islam faith I don't know all that many details. The "sweet parts" certainly don't get the publicity. I know it is generally a conservative religion and stresses family values. In a way, I guess -- I'm torn on that statement. But at the same time it seems to be the most intollerant of religions from all that I see. Although some Baptists can be pretty intolerant too. Personally I think a lot of engineers that I have met seem a little off kilter. Blame the Engineers and definately, definately blame the head shrinkers.

yankeevet 8 years, 1 month ago

"Carry a Glock and protect yourself"!!!

Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 1 month ago

If you really want to know you can google Islam and find out. You can even read the Koran online for free. Some people are not going to change their preconceptions just because of the facts.

KansasPerson 8 years, 1 month ago

"Asked by a reporter outside the police station why he did it, he replied: “Because they left me to rot.”"

Well, there you go! Do we still have to call him "alleged"? Is that admission of guilt something you can use in court?

tomatogrower 8 years, 1 month ago

"lawrenceguy40 (Anonymous) says… Yankeevet - you are right. We need to throw all non-citizens out of our country NOW. That would create full employment here. Heck, if we extended it to only naturally born citizens, barry o wouldn't be President and we wouldn't be in such a mess."

That includes everyone who is not full blooded member of a Native Tribe, and especially anyone whose name begins with Mac, as in Timothy MacVeigh. I agree, start packing now. When do you leave?

jonas_opines 8 years, 1 month ago

Any economist worth their salt knows that Full Employment is either a myth or the product of Socialist Work Allocation.

Danielle Brunin 8 years, 1 month ago

Irish and monkey_c,

It's kind of funny because I work with a lot of engineers and a lot of them are mutants. Sweet mutants, but mutants none the less. The engineers that I think of off the top of my head that are Latino are probably the least mutant-like people that I work with.

I can think of several passages that I would consider inclusive and tolerant, but I'm not going to be preachy and start quoting them here. In my experience though, if a Muslim comes from a more culturally conservative society, the stricter their interpretation of the religion, and of course, they consider that the correct interpretation.

Danielle Brunin 8 years, 1 month ago


Just curious, why do you think he's a terrorist, as opposed to a straight up nut? From what I've been reading, it sounds like he was proud to be in the Army, but he was also really traumatized by his psychiatric work with combat veterans, possibly even suffering from vicarious PTSD. He also gave away all of his possessions to a neighbor and offered her money to clean his apartment after he was gone, which is a big suicide warning sign. The military even warns troops to watch out for veterans who suddenly start giving away their things immediately before or after a deployment because it is, unfortunately, a common occurrence due to the immense stress.

jonas_opines 8 years, 1 month ago

unsavoryagent (Anonymous) says…

“Any economist worth their salt knows that Full Employment is either a myth or the product of Socialist Work Allocation”

I really hope you repeat that for the next year. That'd be great, mmmkay? “Get used to it, 10% unemployment is justice!”

Errr. . . . right. Lots of room between 0 and 10%, so you can stop the spin, go read some books on economics, and realize that I'm right. Somewhere between 3 and 5% unemployment is usually seen as the goal.

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