Minneapolis workplace shooter lost job hours before rampage

MINNEAPOLIS Fri Sep 28, 2012 6:49pm EDT

1 of 2. Minnesota State Patrol officers man the Penn Avenue bridge over Bassett's Creek near the scene of a triple shooting at a business on the 2300 block of Chestnut Avenue West in Minneapolis, Minnesota, September 27, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/John Autey/Pioneer Press

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MINNEAPOLIS (Reuters) - Police identified on Friday the disgruntled former employee who killed five people and took his own life in a shooting rampage at a Minneapolis sign company from which he had been fired.

Hours after losing his job on Thursday, the 36-year-old gunman, Andrew Engeldinger, entered Accent Signage Systems Inc. through a loading dock door with a 9mm semiautomatic handgun and began firing, police said. Some of his victims were likely targeted.

Engeldinger was found dead by officers in the basement of the building with a single shell casing next to him, Police Chief Tim Dolan told a news conference. It was the state's worst workplace killing in at least two decades.

"It is clear that he did walk by some people, very clear, especially when he went in the office area. He did walk by people to get to certain other members of the business," Dolan said.

He said police officers searching the building some time later found two people hiding from the gunman.

At Engeldinger's house, police turned up a second gun and packaging for 10,000 rounds of ammunition, Dolan said. He was believed to have acquired the handguns legally last year.

Dolan declined to say why Engeldinger was fired or what his job had been at the company, the only manufacturing business located among the mix of single-family homes and parks in the tree-lined section of the Bryn Mawr neighborhood of Minneapolis.

Before taking his own life, Engeldinger shot dead four people at the office building. A fifth victim, 62-year-old Rami Cooks, who had been taken to Hennepin County Medical Center in critical condition after the shooting, died later on Thursday, authorities said.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner in a statement identified the other victims as Keith Basinski, 50; Ronald Edberg, 58; Jacob Beneke, 34; and Reuven Rahamim, 61, who was the company founder. The company is known for a process of making interior signs with durable Braille text lettering.

One man remained in critical condition and another was in serious condition, a hospital spokeswoman said. Another person was treated and released.

Thursday's shooting was reported at 4:35 p.m. CDT (5.35 p.m. EDT). As officers arrived on the scene and entered the front of the building, they immediately encountered shooting victims, Dolan said. Paramedics then entered without waiting for the scene to be secured.

Rahamim, an Israeli immigrant, started a sign business out of his basement that grew to have 28 employees and an expected revenue of $5 million to $10 million this year, according to the publication Finance & Commerce.

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak said Friday in a Facebook posting that Rahamim "was so proud of everything that he and his family have built in this country, and he had a right to be".

The Minneapolis shooting was a month after a work-related shooting near the Empire State Building in New York, which killed two people and wounded nine.

This followed a July mass shooting in a crowded cinema in Colorado and an attack on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin in August, which rekindled debate about gun control in the United States.

Minnesota work-place homicide records date back only to 1992 and no one incident had resulted in more than two homicides.

Nationally, there were 458 workplace homicides in 2011 and 518 in 2010, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

(Reporting by David Bailey; Editing by Paul Thomasch, Todd Eastham and Andrew Hay)

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Comments (22)
flashrooster wrote:
Guns don’t kill people. People WITH guns do. The argument goes like this, if more people carried guns there would be less gun violence. The problem is, more people carry guns in the US than in any other developed country (probably than in any country period), and yet there is more gun violence in the US than in any other developed country. So much for the gun worshipers’ argument.

Why do we keep diminishing ourselves by accepting the ridiculous arguments dictated to us by the right? More guns in the hands of citizens will reduce gun violence; There is no global warming, so let’s not waste money developing alternative energy and let’s get rid of the EPA; Evolution is a myth and we should teach creationism in our schools as a viable alternative to evolution; Supply-side economics works, we just have to keep cutting taxes on the wealthy and they’ll create jobs; We need to require photo ids for citizens to vote even though no one is committing voter fraud. And while we’re at it, let’s purge millions of legal voters from voting registration lists and cut out early voting so that fewer people participate in our democracy; Raising taxes won’t help balance the deficit; All government programs are bad; You can never spend too much of our tax revenue on defense; Corporations are people. There’s just no end to it. The right has dummied us down to become the laughing stock of the world. We keep listening to them and our country is always worse off for it. When will we learn? What will it take?

Sep 27, 2012 12:57am EDT  --  Report as abuse
sjtom wrote:
When guns are outlawed, flashrooster, only outlaws will have guns. Old but just as true as ever. Also, the only thing keeping the government from completely taking over is their knowledge of millions of armed citizens.

Sep 28, 2012 1:45am EDT  --  Report as abuse
TheUSofA wrote:
@flashrooster, indeed the the political right has gone completely bananas. They have nothing to offer other than violence, punitive individualism and socialism for the wealthy.

The really tragic part is that the so called political ‘left’ (non-existent really, only a fool would call Obama a socialist all things considered) has been dragged to the right as well.

“The Left moved Right, and the Right moved into the nuthouse.”

Written by a long standing member of the Republican party:

The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted


As things will continue to deteriorate (while the wealthy keep on cashing in), expect more tearing of the social fabric to come.

Sep 28, 2012 1:48am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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