The Latest: Neighbor says workplace shooter faced harassment

AP News
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Posted: Oct 25, 2016 5:02 PM

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — The Latest on the fatal workplace shooting inside a rail car manufacturing company in Virginia (all times local):

4:45 p.m.

A neighbor of the suspected shooter at a railcar manufacturing facility in Roanoke, Virginia, says the man told him he quit his job because he was being harassed by a co-worker.

Clarence Jones told The Associated Press that 53-year-old Getachew Fekede would complain about a man who intimidated and picked on him. Jones said Fekede transferred departments at FreightCar America but ultimately quit when the problems continued.

Jones said he believes Fekede grew concerned about money after he quit his job because he was still taking care of his mother back in Kenya. Jones said Fekede was an "excellent neighbor" who never showed any signs of violence.

Police say Fekede killed one former co-worker, wounded three others and then killed himself.

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3:30 p.m.

Police in Virginia say a refugee from Kenya killed one former co-worker and wounded three others at a railcar manufacturing company.

Roanoke Police Chief Tim Jones said Tuesday that 53-year-old Getachew Fekede stopped showing up to work at FreightCar America in March. But he rode a bicycle to his former workplace early Tuesday morning and somehow entered the facility's paint shop.

Jones said Fekede fired 10 rounds from a 9 mm handgun. One person died and two others suffered wounds to their "lower extremities." A bullet grazed a third person's chest. Jones said Fekede then killed himself.

Jones said Fekede entered the U.S. in 2011 through a refugee immigration program. He said the shooting appears to be work-related but the possibility of terrorism will be investigated.

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2:15 p.m.

A man who works for a railcar manufacturer in Virginia says he missed a fatal workplace shooting by one minute.

Michael Ewing told WDBJ (http://bit.ly/2eGrokN) in Roanoke on Tuesday that warnings of an active shooter came over the facility's PA system. He and others began to hide.

Ewing said he and his co-workers "got organized" and "did everything" they were supposed to do. He added that he was about a minute away from entering the area where the killing took place.

Police say the shooter killed one person and himself and wounded at least three others. A hospital said one person is in serious condition, and the other two are in fair and good condition, respectively.

Police believe the shooter is an employee or ex-employee of the company, FreightCar America.

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1:45 p.m.

The parent company of a manufacturing facility in Virginia where two people died in a workplace shooting had announced in August that it would cut staff.

Months before Tuesday's shooting in Roanoke, the Chicago-based FreightCar America said in news releases and SEC filings that it would eliminate 15 percent of its salaried workforce. It said it would also adjust staffing levels for hourly and salaried workers to coincide with production.

The company said it faced unexpected and rising costs for new types of rail cars that it makes, as well as fewer deliveries of them. It's already significantly curtailed operations at an Illinois facility this year.

Police believe the shooter who killed one person and himself and injured at least three others was an employee or ex-employee of the company.

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12:15 p.m.

Police in Virginia say they found no further threats at a rail car manufacturing company after a man fatally shot one person and himself.

Roanoke police searched buildings at FreightCar America, located in an industrial area near downtown Roanoke, on Tuesday after the shooting, which also wounded three people. Around noon, police posted on social media that the search was completed and nothing suspicious was found. Police say the road will remain closed while they work at the scene.

Police say three patients were taken to an area hospital. The hospital said in a statement that one is in serious condition, and the other two are in fair and good condition, respectively.

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10:30 a.m.

Police believe the shooter who killed one person and himself at a rail car manufacturing company in Roanoke was an employee or ex-employee of the company.

Roanoke Police Chief Tim Jones said at a news conference Tuesday that the shooter took his life after shooting several people at FreightCar America, located in an industrial area near downtown Roanoke. He says the identities of the victims and suspect aren't yet known.

He says one witness hid inside a bathroom during the shooting and they are waiting to interview him.

Jones says police are searching the facility, which includes several buildings, to ensure there are no other threats.

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10:30 a.m.

Hospital officials in Virginia say they've received three patients with gun-related shootings from a rail car manufacturing company where police say a gunman fatally shot one man and killed himself.

Carilion (ka RIL lee on) Roanoke Memorial Hospital said in a statement on Tuesday that one of the patients brought in from FreightCar America is in serious condition, and the other two are in fair and good condition, respectively.

The patients were taken to the hospital early Tuesday morning from the company, which is located in an industrial area near downtown Roanoke.

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9:30 a.m.

Police say a man fatally shot someone and wounded several others inside a rail car manufacturing company in Virginia before apparently killing himself.

Roanoke police spokesman Scott Leamon says the shooting took place around 6 a.m. Tuesday at FreightCar America, located in an industrial area near downtown Roanoke. He says authorities are working to identify the shooter and determine whether he was connected to the company, which has an overnight shift and was open at the time.

Leamon says less than five others were injured. He says he doesn't yet know whether they were shot, but their injuries are not considered life-threatening.

He says officers are searching the facility, but they don't believe there is any threat to the public.