Gunman kills 3 in North Carolina workplace shooting

Star, North Carolina Fri Jan 13, 2012 4:36pm EST

1 of 7. Two men sit in a truck in the McBride Lumber Company parking lot after a fatal shooting in Star, North Carolina January 13, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/John Adkisson

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Star, North Carolina (Reuters) - A lumber company worker in Star, North Carolina, is suspected of shooting dead three colleagues and critically injuring another, before shooting himself on Friday, police said.

The suspect apparently targeted specific co-workers at the McBride Lumber Company when he opened fire with a 12-gauge shotgun about 6 a.m, said Sheriff Dempsey Owens of Montgomery County.

"It appears that a lone gunman entered his workplace and went to four individuals inside and confronted them and shot all four of them, killing three and injuring one," said Owens.

The suspected shooter then returned to his home about a mile north of the lumber company where he shot himself in the head, Owens said. The man, Ronald Dean Davis, 50, was still alive when police found him slumped on his couch.

Police also discovered a six-page handwritten note at the scene. The note, Owens said, is "very vague and rambles a lot."

Davis and the injured victim were both flown to a hospital in Chapel Hill. "Both of them are in bad shape," Owens said.

Owens said it was unclear what sparked the shooting.

The McBride Lumber Co, which makes wood pallets, declined to comment.

(Reporting by John Adkisson, Jim Brumm and Michelle Nichols, editing by Paul Thomasch)

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