MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — After being told he was losing his job at a Minneapolis sign company, Andrew Engeldinger responded by saying “oh really,” taking out a gun and opening fire on his two managers. Then he fired again as the company owner tried to help his wounded employees.
Police reports released Friday provided new details of the shooting rampage last week at Accent Signage Systems that left six people dead, including the gunman, and three wounded. It was Minnesota’s deadliest workplace shooting.
The reports show that the 36-year-old Engeldinger shot two of the company’s top managers, John Souter and Rami Crooks, just as they were terminating him at the end of his workday Sept. 27.
“Engeldinger responded by saying ‘oh really’ and took out a gun that he had in a holster in his waist area,” one report said.
Around nine shots were fired in the ensuing struggle in Souter’s office, and a magazine with about seven live founds fell to the floor. Souter was shot in the chest but able to leave his office as the struggle moved into the hallway, and he asked for someone to call 911. Souter remained hospitalized Friday.
Cooks was shot several times, including at least once in the head, but remained on his feet, the reports said. He later died at a hospital.
Company owner and founder Reuven Rahamim came out of his office next door and was on the ground trying to help one of his wounded employees just before Engeldinger fatally shot him, according to the reports.
His executive assistant, Amanda Crotty, told police that Rahamim was on the floor, holding Souter, when Engeldinger shot Rahamim twice in the head at close range. Crotty said she ran and hid under her desk.
Engeldinger’s demeanor was described as calm, and witnesses said he didn’t “appear to be moving fast but walking and moving in a normal manner,” according to one report.
The report also described Engeldinger calmly walking past Crotty and other women in the office toward another part of the building before they heard him start firing again, shooting other male employees along the way while leaving women alone.
He shot employee Jacob Beneke in the sign display area, while employee Ron Edberg and UPS driver Keith Basinski were both shot in the loading dock. All three men died.
Another employee, Eric Rivers, remained hospitalized Friday in critical condition, while Souter was in “satisfactory” condition, according to Hennepin County Medical Center. Another employee grazed by a bullet has been released.
Many of the documents describe how police quickly converged on the company after the first 911 call came in. Officers said they were acting methodically and cautiously as they entered the building because they weren’t sure where Engeldinger was.
Officers eventually found Engeldinger dead, seated in a chair in the basement with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to the police reports. His Glock 9 mm semi-automatic pistol was near his feet.
Souter told police at the hospital that night that Engeldinger was an introvert. According to documents in his personnel file, his shortcomings on the job included the quality of his work, showing up late and problems in his dealings with other employees.
Another report detailed police interviews with Engeldinger’s parents, who have said their son struggled with mental illness for years and had shut them out of his life for nearly two years before the attack. Engeldinger’s mother told police her family had a clinically diagnosed history of schizophrenia, and described her son as “competitive and intelligent.”
His father said Engeldinger was “competitive and liked things done by the book.” He said his son was made fun of as a teenager for having “a high level of intelligence,” and also said his son went through a drug rehab program in his late teens or early 20s.
Both parents said their son didn’t have a girlfriend and had “no known friends.”
One report said the gun used in the attack was purchased in October 2011 from KGS Guns and Ammo in Minneapolis. The shop’s owner, Mark Koscielski, told The Associated Press that he sold Engeldinger the gun — he recalled the price as around $620 — after Engeldinger filled out a permit-to-purchase application with police and passed an FBI check. He said he made small talk with Engeldinger because he noticed his address wasn’t far from where Koscielski grew up, but nothing stood out in memory about the conversation.
After that, Koscielski said, “He just came in a few times to window-shop, but that’s about it.”
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