Po­lice: Air­port shoot­ing likely case of work­place revenge

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - OBITUARIES -

OK­LA­HOMA CITY >> A man who gunned down a South­west Air­lines em­ployee out­side of Ok­la­homa City’s air­port likely did so in re­tal­i­a­tion for hav­ing lost his own job with the air­line last year, po­lice said Wed­nes­day.

Lloyd Dean Buie, 45, killed 52-year-old Michael Winch­ester on Tues­day as Winch­ester was leav­ing work and walk­ing to an em­ployee park­ing lot, po­lice Capt. Paco Balder­rama said at a news con­fer­ence. Buie fired the shot from the fourth floor of a park­ing garage when Winch­ester was about 50 yards away, he said. Buie was later found dead in his pickup truck in the garage.

“We know his in­ten­tion was to go to the air­port to hurt some­one,” Balder­rama said. “The sus­pect knew where the em­ploy­ees parked and where they would be walk­ing.”

Winch­ester died from a sin­gle gunshot wound to the chest, the Ok­la­homa Med­i­cal Ex­am­iner’s Of­fice ruled Wed­nes­day. Buie’s death was ruled a sui­cide from a sin­gle gunshot wound to the head.

Buie quit his job as a ramp agent for South­west in April 2015 after he re­fused to take an al­co­hol screen­ing, air­line spokes­woman Brandy King said Wed­nes­day. She said co­work­ers had sus­pected Buie was un­der the in­flu­ence at work, but she de­clined to say if Winch­ester, a ramp su­per­vi­sor who had worked for South­west for 29 years, was in­volved.

“Our South­west fam­ily is griev­ing, as we are deeply sad­dened by the loss of our fam­ily mem­ber. Our fo­cus re­mains on of­fer­ing sup­port to the Winch­ester fam­ily and South­west em­ploy­ees dur­ing this dif­fi­cult time,” King said.

Po­lice said Winch­ester wasn’t Buie’s im­me­di­ate su­per­vi­sor, but they be­lieve the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing Buie’s quit­ting were likely his mo­tive for the at­tack.

The As­so­ci­ated Press tried call­ing four of Buie’s fam­ily mem­bers, but the calls ei­ther rang unan­swered or the num­bers had been dis­con­nected.

Winch­ester, who has a listed ad­dress in Wash­ing­ton, a com­mu­nity about 35 miles south of the air­port, was a for­mer Univer­sity of Ok­la­homa foot­ball player whose son James is a long snap­per for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Chiefs play­ers and coaches ex­pressed sup­port for their team­mate Wed­nes­day, with head coach Andy Reid say­ing James Winch­ester had re­turned to Ok­la­homa to be with his fam­ily and that he didn’t know if he’d re­turn in time for Sun­day’s game against Tampa Bay. Punter Dustin Colquitt said he spoke to Winch­ester, who told him: “Ob­vi­ously this is a tough time for my fam­ily, but I ap­pre­ci­ate the thoughts and prayers.”

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