By Calvin Palmer
A gunman opened fire at a business located on a New Mexico science park today killing two people and wounding four others before turning his gun on himself.
Albuquerque Police Chief Ray Schultz identified the gunman as 37-year-old Robert Reza, a former employee at Emcore Corp., which manufactures fiber optics at the Sandia Science and Technology Park in Albuquerque’s Southeast Heights.
Reza targeted his girlfriend, who was hospitalized in critical condition with gunshot wounds. He was disgusted over a domestic violence dispute involving his girlfriend and confronted her outside the Emcore premises. The gun rampage continued inside the building and four other people were wounded.
Schultz said it was not known if the others who were shot had been targeted by Reza. Investigators recovered a single handgun but it appeared Reza fired 20 to 25 bullets, reloading once.
“He acted alone,” Schultz said. “His primary target was his girlfriend at the facility. He knew her routine and confronted her outside the business.”
In earlier reports, the number of dead was put at six, including the gunman. Police said there had been miscommunication among officers and emergency personnel in the first counting, according to CNN.
Miscommunication? Now there is a new term for the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing. I guess the officers involved got a little too excited and lost their usual numeracy skills. Honestly, you couldn’t make it up.
Police were alerted to the shooting shortly before 9:30 a.m. Five officers were inside the building within three minutes, Schultz said.
Of course, it could well turn out that it was three officers within five minutes or 15 officers within two minutes. I mean, who was counting?
Seven victims were taken to University of New Mexico Hospital.
Schultz said the gunman had children who live outside Albuquerque and said they were taken into custody by “another agency”.
The chief said there was at least one previous domestic violence call involving the gunman but said it occurred outside Albuquerque. He did not say where.
Police said 85 employees were later taken to a community center for interviews with detectives.
Emcore makes compound semiconductor-based components and subsystems for the broadband, fiber optic, satellite and terrestrial solar markets.
The company employed about 500 people in Albuquerque but the recession led to layoffs last year.
Readers comments at the end of the Albuquerque Journal’s coverage includes the contribution by one wind-up merchant who writes: “These things tend to happen more often when the economy sours, it seems. Thanks Obama.”
I am assuming he/she is a wind-up merchant. They have used the name Sad. And I guess that pretty much sums this person up. And if this person is not out to wind people up, I think Sick would have been a better name to use.