BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The fiancee of one of two UPS supervisors who police say were slain by a fired employee said Wednesday her boyfriend had expressed sympathy for the man over the dismissal but didn't fear him.
Brian Callans, 46, wasn't pleased when he found out the shipping company planned to fire 45-year-old Kerry Joe Tesney, partly because the man had a family to support, said Erica Carmichael, who was engaged to Callans.
"He told me, 'I'm not happy about it, Erica. The guy has been with the company a long time. That's a huge change in somebody's life,'" Carmichael said.
UPS identified Callans, a business manager from Birmingham and driver supervisor Doug Hutcheson, 33, of Odenville, as the victims in the shooting at a package-sorting center on Tuesday. Callans had worked for the shipping giant for 26 years, and Hutcheson since 1999.
Police previously identified the men's killer as Kerry Joe Tesney, 45, of Trussville. The driver had been with UPS for 21 years but had been fired recently, authorities said in a statement Wednesday.
Callans and Hutcheson, a married father of young twin boys, were shot to death in an office a day after Tesney received his termination notice, authorities said. Callans was originally supposed to be off on Tuesday but had gone to the office anyway, Carmichael said.
Carmichael described the two victims as being close friends — a family photo posted on social media shows the two together at Hutcheson's wedding in 2003. Hutcheson helped Callans remodel his house, she said, and Callans wanted to see Hutcheson move up in the company.
"Brian started from the bottom at UPS and worked diligently up," said Carmichael. "He felt for his co-workers. He wanted them first."
Hutcheson's wife, Tiffany Hutcheson, said she is trying to figure out the best way to explain to their 4-year-old twin boys, Braddock and Sawyer, that their father isn't coming home again.
"What do you tell a 4-year-old? They get the bad-guy concept. 'A bad guy took Daddy away,'" she said, adding that her sons worshipped their father, who was their baseball coach.
Hutcheson said her husband was voted class clown at their high school and was the life of the party. He went to work for UPS straight after graduation.
She said there were warning signs before the shooting, but she declined to elaborate. She said she assumed Tesney was involved as soon as she heard there was an incident at the package-sorting facility. Her husband, like Callans, felt sorry for Tesney after he was fired, knowing Tesney had two daughters at home, she said.
Authorities said Tesney entered his former workplace and began shooting, killing the two supervisors before taking his own life.
Police said Tesney got final notice of his firing a day earlier but walked in wearing his uniform. The company said the man apparently evaded security by entering through a truck bay that normally isn't used by pedestrians at the rear of the building.
The toll may have been worse if 80 or so drivers had not already departed, officials said.
"It was a relatively small crew that was remaining," UPS spokesman Steve Gaut, a spokesman for the shipping company.
Tesney's pastor, Bill Wilks of NorthPark Baptist Church in Trussville, said the man had been troubled over his work and financial situation.
Officials haven't said what prompted Tesney's dismissal or might have generated workplace tension.
But documents in a court case show Callans was involved in a dispute over a missing radiator after an automotive company sued UPS and Tesney, alleging Tesney wrongly took the part while making a package pickup in 2010.
HESCO Inc. filed suit in 2010 claiming Tesney had wrongly picked up a $4,000 radiator for shipment either intentionally or by mistake. The lawsuit went on for three years before a judge ruled in favor of Tesney and UPS on Sept. 23, 2013, exactly a year before the shooting.
A brief filed by HESCO said Tesney gave differing accounts of what happened to the radiator. Tesney told the owner of the company he took it by accident, but Tesney told a manager that he had used it as a "tray" to carry items to his truck.
Callans — whose last name was spelled "Callens" in the court document — "accepted responsibility for the missing radiator," said the document.
HESCO attorney Jud Stanford declined comment. It wasn't immediately clear whether the lawsuit played any role in Tesney's firing.