A Southern California Edison employee opened fire at a company office building in Irwindale yesterday, killing two people and injuring two others before committing suicide, officials said.
“It’s a very sad day for us,” Ted Craver, chief executive officer of Edison International (EIX), the utility’s owner, said yesterday at a press conference from the company’s headquarters in Rosemead.
Two people died at the scene and a third on the way to a hospital, Mike Taylor, a captain with neighboring Baldwin Park Police Department, said in a telephone interview from the site, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of Los Angeles.
The shooter was an Edison employee, Craver said. Of those who were shot, four were company staffers and one was a contract worker. Four were male and one was female, according to Charles Coleman, an Edison spokesman. The shooter was a male.
Robert Gray, a sergeant with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, said today that the motive for the shooting remains unclear and an investigation is underway.
The company is cooperating with investigators and doesn’t have all the details of the shooting, Craver said in a statement. The facility houses about 200, said Gil Alexander, a spokesman for the utility. They work “almost exclusively” in information technology, Craver said.
The shooting started at about 1:30 p.m. local time, according to Taylor, the police captain. The unidentified gunman went through the building with a rifle, local station KCAL-9 reported. Homicide detectives from the sheriff’s department headed to the scene, said Gray.
“As soon as we heard of the shooting, we secured our facilities and took all necessary precautions to protect our employees,” Craver said in the statement.
Police searched the building for potential victims as many as three hours after the shooting, Taylor said.
A group of about 20 employees barricaded themselves in a break room during the attack by blocking the door with a refrigerator, KCAL-9 reported, citing an interview with the husband of one of the employees in the room.
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