LOS ANGELES » Authorities were searching for a motive Sunday as they named the 48-year-old company employee who shot four people, killing two, at a utility office east of Los Angeles.
Investigators said Andre Turner of Norco in Riverside County methodically picked off his co-workers with a semiautomatic handgun Friday before turning the weapon on himself inside a complex that houses more than a thousand Southern California Edison employees.
Turner’s death was ruled a suicide, Los Angeles County coroner’s Lt. Larry Dietz told The Associated Press. He had worked at Edison for seven years, utility spokesman Steven Conroy said.
The two other men killed were Henry Serrano, 56, of Walnut and Robert Scott Lindsay, 53, of Chino Hills, coroner and company officials said.
Both men were managers in the information technology department and longtime Edison employees, the company said in a statement Saturday. Lindsay had worked for the company for 29 years, Serrano for 26.
Two other shooting victims were taken to hospitals in critical condition, the Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.
The injured were Angela Alvarez, 46, of Glendale, an Edison employee, and Abhay Pimpale, 38, of Montebello, Edison said in a statement.
Pimpale, an independent contractor, was released from the hospital Saturday, according to City News Service. There was no new word on the condition of Alvarez.
All five people worked in the same area of the same building at the office park in Irwindale, a small industrial city in the San Gabriel Valley, authorities said.
Authorities have released no information on a possible motive for what the Edison statement called "one of the most horrific events the company has experienced in its 125-year history."
A woman who picked up the phone at a number listed in Turner’s name declined to give her name or offer comment.
Several cars were parked in the driveway of Turner’s home in an upscale neighborhood near a golf club in Norco, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reported. A woman standing on a balcony on the home’s second floor would not comment for the newspaper.
Turner’s real estate agent Shane Tucker said the home was up for a short sale and he and his wife were moving into a smaller place, but he still couldn’t see a motive for something so drastic.
"He seemed like a real stand-up guy," Tucker told KABC-TV as he sat in a car outside the home where Turner had lived for six years as the original owner. "I know he did put a lot of the money into the house, it’s really nice. I don’t see why short-selling the house would trigger anything negative, so it has to be something else."
Horrified employees barricaded themselves behind locked doors and hid under desks Friday afternoon as Turner walked through the office firing a semi-automatic handgun, authorities said.
The office complex and nearby schools were locked down as the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department’s SWAT team responded to several 911 calls.
Some workers trapped inside the facility thought while the rampage was going on that it had left more people wounded.
Ron Orona of El Monte said his daughter, a 23-year-old employee who works in one of the adjacent buildings, said Turner had been in her building and talked to her boss about five minutes before the gunfire broke out. She heard the shots, and reached for her phone in a panic.
"She called me and said dad, there’s two gunmen and 12 people have been shot," Orona told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. "She was a little shook up, as I was."
Turner and Lindsay were found dead at the scene, and Serrano died at a hospital, authorities said.
No gunfire was exchanged after officers arrived, and police believed Turner acted alone
In the hours after the shooting, police cars, ambulances and fire trucks surrounded the building, and dozens of workers emerged with their hands over their heads.
The complex is surrounded by a fence and patrolled by a security guard. Employees need a security card to get into the building, said Gil Alexander, a spokesman for Southern California Edison. About 230 employees work in the building where the shooting took place, and about 1,100 employees work in the complex.
Two nearby schools were locked for about two hours after the shooting and no one on the campuses was hurt.
The company said Saturday it was offering grief counseling for employees and is establishing a fund to support the victims’ families. Edison will donate $100,000 and seek employee contributions.
Irwindale is a city of about 1,400 residents, 22 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. It is home to the Irwindale Speedway auto racetrack and large rock and gravel quarries.
Southern California Edison, a huge utility that provides power for most of the region, is one of its largest companies, employing 2,100 people.