California News

Nov 7, 2012 4:35 PM by NBC News

Three dead in Fresno shooting

It was a tragic day at the Valley Protein plant in Fresno, California Tuesday after an employee opened fire on his coworkers.

Two people were killed and two others injured in what police say was a methodical shooting.

The gunman then turned the gun on himself.

Police say 42 year old Lawrence Jones started his normal shift at 5 a.m.

About three hours later, he set out on a shooting spree.

"I was working right there and I heard the gunshots and I just saw everybody running and screaming. The only thing I can remember is I saw one of the guys on the floor bleeding," said employee Berto Ordaz.

It was a terrifying and traumatic scene for Ordaz. He was close by when the shooting happened.

Ordaz says Jones had not been acting himself.

"He was real quiet, he wasn't talking to anybody. I don't know if he had any enemies or any problems with anybody," Ordaz explained.

Police say Jones shot and killed two men.

32-year-old Salvador Diaz died on the scene.

34-year-old Manual Verdin later died at a local hospital.

28-year-old Arnulfo Connriquez was shot in the neck and is still in serious condition.

Jones also shot Fatima Lopez as she was running out of the building. Police say she is recovering.

According to investigators Jones tried to shoot a fifth person, but ran out of bullets.

Then he turned the gun on himself.

"When he got outside he reloaded his gun, put it to the side of his head and took his own life," said Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer.

What caused Jones to snap remains unknown, but police say it appears his targets were carefully thought out.

"He was very selective in who he shot. He had opportunity to shoot other co-workers who were in the business at that time, but chose not to."

Jones had an extensive criminal history. He had been in and out of prison, but was recently paroled.

A neighbor knew Jones as a quiet man who kept to himself. She was shocked to hear the news.

"He just seemed like a real nice person. I would have never expected this from him," Stacey Williams said.

Around 65 people were at work when the gunfire began.

Police say about 30 of them witnessed the shooting.

Jones had worked at the plant for 14 months.

»Comments

PLEASE HELP US MODERATE COMMENTS

Offensive or inappropriate comments are subject to removal. To report a comment, please e-mail us at feedback@ksby.com, and include the name of the story and information on the comment.

Thank you! KSBY.com


More News

Most Popular

Top Videos

1 2 3 4