Ahh, here's another fine postal employee on a killing spree, but hey, this time it's a female!
GOLETA, Calif. - A female ex-postal worker opened fire at a mail processing plant, killing six people and critically wounding another before committing suicide, authorities said early Tuesday.
Deputies responding to a call of shots fired about 9:15 p.m. Monday found two people dead outside the plant.
Two wounded women were located inside and were taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. One died and the other was listed in critical condition early Tuesday with a gunshot wound to the head.
Nearly five hours later, deputies found four additional bodies, including one believed to be the female shooter, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Jim Anderson said. The shooter, who was not identified, died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, he said.
“We do not believe there is any additional threat to the community,” Anderson said.
It was one of the deadliest shootings in a Postal Service facility since a series of high-profile cases in the mid ’80s and early ’90s, including one in which a part-time letter carrier killed 14 people in Edmond, Okla., and then took his own life.
Warning for residents
The Monday night rampage sent dozens of employees running from the sprawling distribution center and prompted authorities to warn nearby residents to stay indoors.
Postal employee Charles Kronick told KEYT-TV in Santa Barbara that he was inside the building when shots rang out. Some 50 to 60 employees were seen running from the plant.
“I heard something that sounded like a pop, and then I heard a couple seconds later, another pop, pop, pop,” Kronick said.
His boss came running over and told him to get out of the building, Kronick said, adding “We all hightailed it out real quick.”
The victims’ names were not immediately released. Sheriffs’ Sgt. Erik Raney said all the victims were believed to be current employees.
Investigators didn’t yet know how many guns were used, how the shooter entered the complex or what the motive might have been, Raney said.
Postmaster General John Potter said families of the victims were being notified and counselors would be available to the families and employees at the plant.
“Our heartfelt prayers and condolences go out to the families of the victims and to our employees who have suffered through this tragic incident,” Potter said in a statement issued in Washington.
The 200,000-square-foot facility is located just a few blocks from the University of California, Santa Barbara. About 300 people are employed at the plant in Goleta, about 90 miles northwest of Los Angeles.