Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Devoted Christian open fires, killing three

CUPERTINO, Calif. — The man who shot dead three co-workers before being killed by police Thursday had complained about racism at work and was recently notified about erratic driving on the job, his shop steward said.

Mike Ambrosio, who was shot in the arm, told the San Jose Mercury News that he had confronted Shareef Allman less than a week ago about having turned over a truck and snagging overhead wires when he left the truck bed in the air at the quarry where they worked in Cupertino, Calif.

"He's had so many accidents and always said that because he's African American, the company was after him," Ambrosio told the newspaper. "He was an unsafe driver."

Ambrosio added that he told Allman last Thursday that "no one has ever had so many accidents in the company like you have."

When Allman started shooting, Ambrosio said, he shouted: "You guys want to (expletive) with me? You want to (expletive) with me?"

Allman was on the run for a day before being cornered, shot and killed Thursday morning, law enforcement sources told NBC affiliate KNTV.

Allman was shot by police in the same Sunnyvale neighborhood that police had searched a day earlier.

The Santa Clara County coroner confirmed Thursday evening that Allman was the man killed by deputies, KRON television reported.

Three deputies were on routine patrol when they encountered a man crouched behind a vehicle in the driveway of a home, Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith said.

He matched Allman's description, and deputies fired after he "displayed in a threatening manner his firearm," Smith said.

The workplace shootings and subsequent manhunt had stunned Allman's friends. They described him as a devoted single father of two, a strong Christian and the author of a novel about the evils of domestic violence.

The portrait of Allman, 47, diverged strongly from the man authorities suspect in the fatal shooting of three co-workers. Seven others were also wounded in the attack, some critically.

"If you live in San Jose, you could not help but know him. He had a great smile, and he lit up the room. He was such a peaceful man," said the Rev. Jeff Moore of the NAACP's San Jose-Silicon Valley chapter. "It's not making any sense to us, and it hurts us to the core. We want to do whatever we can to bring him home."


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