Parolee in Fresno guns down fellow workers, shoots self
FRESNO, Calif. — A parolee who killed two people and wounded two others on Tuesday at a California chicken processing plant where he worked moved methodically among his first three victims, putting a handgun against their head or neck before pulling the trigger, police said.
Lawrence Jones shot 32-year-old Fatima Lopez in the back as she tried to flee then put the gun to the head of Estevan Catano and pulled the trigger but was out of bullets, Fresno police Chief Jerry Dyer said.
Jones, 42, then went outside the Valley Protein plant, where he reloaded his gun, shot himself and died later at a hospital, the chief said.
The victims inside the plant did not hear the shooter because it was loud and at least some of them wore noise protectors, Dyer said.
“He had opportunity to shoot other co-workers that were in the business at this time, but he chose not to,” Dyer said. “He walked around them in order to get very close to the intended targets, place the gun very close and fire a round.”
Salvador Diaz, 32, was pronounced dead at the scene, and Manuel Verdin, 34, died later at a hospital. Arnulfo Conrriguez, 28, was in critical condition, and Lopez was expected to be released later from a hospital, Dyer said.
Police said they didn't know what prompted the attack by Jones midway through his shift at the plant, although other workers told police he did not appear to be himself when he arrived at the plant for work.
“There was something that must have provoked this incident, perhaps that occurred today, or maybe was building up to today,” Dyer said soon after the attack.
Police said they found 24 rounds of .357-caliber ammunition — the type used in the shooting — and 21 rounds of .38-caliber ammunition at Jones' apartment.
Jones arrived at work on a bike just before 5 a.m. About three-and-a-half hours into his shift, he pulled out the handgun and began firing, Dyer said.
About 30 employees witnessed the shooting, and there were a total of about 65 people at work when the gunfire started, police said.
The company was established in 2005, according to online business records. A call to the company went to a voicemail recording that said “due to an emergency we are closed for the day.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Starkey: Steelers still knockin’ on Canton’s door
- Heyward-Bey looks to make impact on special teams with Steelers
- Steelers notebook: Spaeth on baby watch
- Philanthropist and one-time GOP powerhouse Elsie Hillman dies at 89
- Pitcher Arrieta, Cubs shut down Pirates in victory at PNC Park
- Former Lower Burrell couple to stand trial for animal cruelty
- Catching on: Jeannette grad Pryor making progress with transition to receiver
- Murrysville oncologist says he had necessary permits to hunt, kill lion
- Man dead in McKees Rocks shooting; he survived gunshot 10 days ago
- Pirates notebook: Liriano shrugs off rain-ruined start
- Lone robber holds up Vanderbilt store