Sheriff: Fired worker kills 5, then self as siren approached
ORLANDO | A man who was fired from a Florida awning factory in April returned Monday with a semi-automatic pistol and methodically killed five people, then took his own life at the sound of an approaching siren, authorities said.
Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings identified the shooter as John Robert Neumann Jr., a 45-year-old Army veteran who lived alone and did not appear to be a member of any type of subversive or terrorist organization.
The shooting began at about 8 a.m. after Neumann slipped through a rear door into the cavernous factory, an area larger than two football fields where awnings are stitched together for recreational vehicles. He paused at least once to reload.
“My experience tells me that this individual made deliberate thought to do what he did today. He had a plan of action,” the sheriff said. The gunman “had a negative relationship with” at least one of the victims.
“He was certainly singling out the individuals he shot,” Sheriff Demings said, adding that most victims were shot in the head. Some were shot
The motive remains under investigation. Deputies cordoned off the gunman’s mobile home in Maitland, north of Orlando, and were looking through any social media postings for clues. Neumann was honorably discharged in 1999 and did not have a concealedweapons permit, the sheriff said.
Arnie Boyd, who lives in the same trailer park, said Neumann wasn’t particularly social.
“Every once in a while, he would ride his bike around and that’s it,” Mr. Boyd said. “We would speak only once in a while.”
The dead were identified as Robert
Snyder, 69; Brenda Montanez-Crespo, 44; Kevin Clark, 53; Jeffrey Roberts, 57; and Kevin Lawson, 46.
Authorities had confronted Neumann once before at the Fiamma Inc. awning factory, when he was accused of battering a co-worker in June 2014. But after interviewing both men involved, deputies filed no charges, Sheriff Demings said.
Neumann’s criminal record was otherwise minor — marijuana possession and driving under the influence — and the co-worker he allegedly beat up three years ago was not among Monday’s victims, the sheriff said.