Quantcast
  

Wednesday, April 23, 2014         

 Print   Email   Comment | View 7 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

Police find body matching Arizona shooter

By Jacques Billeaud

Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 07:59 a.m. HST, Jan 31, 2013


PHOENIX » A landscaper in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa found a body in bushes early today that matches the suspect in an office shooting that killed a man and critically wounded another, police said.

The rented Kia Optima sedan that Arthur Douglas Harmon, 70, was likely driving was also found nearby in a parking lot, authorities said at a news conference. The person who was found died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound and a handgun was also found, police said.

Harmon drew a gun and shot both men at the end of a mediation session Wednesday morning at an office building in north-central Phoenix, police said.

Steve Singer, 48, died hours later. Mark Hummels, 43, with the Phoenix law firm Osborn Maledon, was in critical condition. A 32-year-old woman was also shot but suffered non-life threatening injuries.

"We believe the two men were the targets. It was not a random shooting," said Sgt. Tommy Thompson, a Phoenix police spokesman.

Harmon also shot at someone who tried to follow him to get his license plate number, authorities said.

"As he left the scene, an individual witness got in his own car and actually followed Harmon in his Optima, and he drove into a neighborhood and Harmon actually got out of his car and shot at that witness," Thompson said.

Singer was the CEO of Scottsdale-based Fusion Contact Centers LLC, which had hired Harmon to refurbish office cubicles at two call centers in California.

According to court documents, Harmon was scheduled to go to a law office in the building where the shooting took place for a settlement conference in a lawsuit he filed last April against Fusion.

Fusion said Harmon was paid nearly $30,000 under the $47,000 contract. But the company asked him to repay much of the money when it discovered that the cubicles could not be refurbished, according to the documents.

Harmon argued Fusion hung him out to dry by telling him to remove and store 206 "worthless" work stations after the mix-up was discovered. Harmon said Fusion then told him that the company decided to use a competitor.

Harmon's lawsuit had sought payment for the remainder of the contract, $20,000 in damages and reimbursement for storage fees and legal costs.

Hummels represented Fusion in the lawsuit. Harmon represented himself.

The shooting took place in the building where Pro tempore Judge Ira Schwartz, who scheduled the mediation meeting, has an office.

The response to the shooting centered on the building — home to insurance, medical and law offices — but soon spread to a north-Phoenix home and a central-Phoenix high-rise office building where Hummels' office is located.

SWAT teams and two armored vehicles surrounded the house. Police served a search warrant to enter the house, which county property records show was sold by Harmon to his son last year for $26,000.

For a time, officers used a megaphone to ask Harmon to surrender, believing he might be inside the home.

Lois Allen, who has lived across the street from the Harmon home for about eight years, said she was startled to see all the police cars in the neighborhood.

She said she never met Harmon but had seen him walking a dog before.

The gunfire at the office complex prompted terrified workers to lock the doors to their offices and hide far from the windows. SWAT officers searched the building.

"Everyone was just scared, honestly, just scared," said Navika Sood, assistant director of nursing at First at Home Health Services who along with her co-workers locked the entrances to their office.

Sood said police evacuated the office about 30 minutes after she first heard the popping noises.

Becky Neher, who works for a title company in the building, said she heard two gunshots.

"Someone yelled, 'We have a shooter,'" Neher said. She looked out her second-story office and saw two people lying on the ground outside the back of the building.

The shooting took place on the same day that hearings on legislation to address gun violence were convened in Washington, with former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords testifying for stricter gun controls. A gunman shot Giffords in the head during a shooting rampage in Tucson in January 2011.

Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Paul Davenport, Felicia Fonseca, Terry Tang and Walter Berry in Phoenix, and AP researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York.







 Print   Email   Comment | View 7 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

COMMENTS
(7)
You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
bender wrote:
I bet the gun lobby shudders everytime one these stories hits the newspapers.
on January 31,2013 | 06:37AM
control wrote:
Got to wonder what kind of spin the NRA will put on this one. Do they really expect us to believe that someone with a bug up their butt or someone with anger/control issues is somehow mentally ill and therefore not their problem? Or will they continue to pretend it never happened? Sorry, americans are no longer buying their arguements.
on January 31,2013 | 06:59AM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
I net his outstanding business man had a permit to carry.
on January 31,2013 | 07:11AM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
BET.
on January 31,2013 | 07:12AM
loquaciousone wrote:
Who won the bet you or NB?
on January 31,2013 | 08:30AM
Slow wrote:
I want my bazooka. The NRA wants me to carry my bazooka. The Constitution tells me to carry a bazooka.
on January 31,2013 | 08:05AM
loquaciousone wrote:
Don't forget the grenades clipped to your sleeveless fatigues.
on January 31,2013 | 08:30AM
IN OTHER NEWS
Breaking News
Blogs