Meat and Poultry Industry News

Three confirmed dead in California plant shooting

November 7, 2012
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The death total after a shooting at Fresno, Calif.-based Valley protein has risen to three, after the gunman and one of his shooting victims died at the hospitals where they were being treated. One other employee of the plant was killed at the plant, and two more were wounded.

Lawrence Jones, 42, was halfway through his shift at Valley Protein just after 8 a.m. Tuesday when he pulled out a handgun and began shooting co-workers in the head execution style, said the Fresno police chief, Jerry Dyer. Police have not found a motive for the shootings, reports the New York Times.

Salvador Diaz, 32, was likely the first victim. He was shot once in the head and was pronounced dead at the scene. Manuel Verdin, 34, was also shot in the head and later died from his injuries. Arnulfo Conrriquez, 28, was shot in the neck and remained in critical condition as of Tuesday afternoon. Fatima Lopez, 28, was shot once in the buttocks while trying to flee and was expected to recover. After emptying his gun, Jones reloaded it, walked outside the plant and shot himself in the head. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Police said Jones, 42, did not choose his shooting victims randomly.

“It appears, based on his actions, that he was selective in terms of who he was shooting because there were other employees present that he could have shot but chose not to,” Chief Dyer said.

Jones had a criminal history that stretched back at least to 1991, when he was sentenced to three years in prison for robbery and burglary, according to the police.

The police said the serial number of the gun used in the shooting had been filed off. They also said they had found, in Mr. Jones’s house, 45 more rounds of ammunition that fit the gun.

An autopsy of Mr. Jones, scheduled for Wednesday morning, could shed light on his mental state at the time of the killings, said the Fresno County coroner, Dr. David Hadden.

“What will be very important in a case like this is the toxicology report,” Dr. Hadden said.

Source: New York Times

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