An armed package handler with bullets strapped across his chest “like Rambo” opened fire Tuesday morning at a FedEx station outside Atlanta, wounding six people before police found the suspect dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot, police and witnesses said.
Three of the victims were in critical condition at Wellstar Kennestone Hospital. Two of them — a 28-year-old man and a 52-year-old woman — were still in surgery with life-threatening wounds about five hours after the shootings were reported to police. Dr. Michael Nitzken told reporters at a news conference the victims suffered multiple gunshot wounds that were consistent with shotgun blasts.
The gunman, who was found dead inside the package-sorting facility, worked for FedEx as a package handler, said Cobb County police Sgt. Dana Pierce.
FedEx clerk Liza Aiken said she was working inside when she heard something drop, looked to her left and saw the gunman.
“He had bullets strapped across his chest like Rambo” and also held a knife, Aiken said in a parking lot where employees were gathering near the station. Before she could continue, a woman wearing a FedEx jacket told Aiken to stop talking and led her away.
Aiken said she thought the gunman held an assault rifle, but Pierce said he was armed with a shotgun.
Names of the victims were not released. Nitzken said the third critical victim was a 22-year-old man. He said another man, 38, remained at the hospital but was stable. Two other victims — a 42-year-old woman and a 19-year-old man — were treated and released.
David Titus, a FedEx truck driver, said he was just coming to work when he saw someone walk up and shoot a security guard in the abdomen outside the building. He said he could hear more gunshots after the gunman went inside.
“It was chaos,” Titus said. “Everyone was running ducking and hiding, trying to get out of there.”
FedEx said the facility north of Atlanta is a hub where packages are sorted and loaded onto vehicles for delivery. It’s located next to the general aviation airport for suburban Cobb County.
Police kept roads leading to the FedEx station blocked after the shooting. Dozens of workers were taken by car and bus to the parking lot of a skating rink about a half-mile (800 meters) away to call relatives for rides. Some family members got out of their cars and hugged the workers. Several employees said they had been told not to speak with reporters.
The identity of the gunman was not immediately released and police did not discuss a motive.
The company was cooperating with police but had no details to release about the shootings.
A FedEx statement said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected, and with their families and friends. We are grateful for the assistance of law enforcement. The situation is now stabilized and we are focused on the needs of our team members and cooperating with the law enforcement investigation of this tragedy.”
This report compiled with information from The Associated Press.