CHICAGO, Aug. 27 — A fired employee shot and killed six people in an auto parts warehouse Wednesday morning before being fatally shot by police, authorities said.
Phil Cline, acting superintendent of the Chicago police, told reporters that the gunman, Salvador Tapia, 36, tied up a worker at the warehouse, who managed to escape. The worker and a second employee whom the man ran into outside called police from a nearby restaurant about 8:45 a.m. (9:45 a.m. ET).
Police exchanged fire with Tapia several times as he ducked in and out of the warehouse, Cline said. A police hostage team decided to storm the building after concluding that there were injured people inside.
Police shot Tapia when he refused to drop his weapon, a Walther PP .380-caliber semiautomatic pistol, Cline said. He was handcuffed and taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Six other people were found shot inside, Cline said. Four were pronounced dead at the scene, and the others were pronounced dead at hospitals. He would not identify the victims pending notification of their families.
GUNMAN FIRED 6 MONTHS AGO
The six victims, who police told NBC News had all been shot in the head, execution-style, represented most of the company’s workforce of eight people. The only surviving workers were the man who escaped and a colleague who was late to work.
Tapia was fired about six months ago for chronic lateness and poor performance, Cline said. He had telephoned a co-owner of the warehouse at least once but was not believed to have confronted anyone in person before Wednesday.
Cline said Tapia had an extensive arrest record dating to 1989 that included two aggravated assault cases, four arrests in domestic disputes and at least a half-dozen lesser charges.
“The problem here is easy access to a firearm,” Cline said. “I mean, here’s someone who never should have had a gun that had a gun, and it’s tragic results from it.”
Jerry George, a witness, told NBC News that Tapia began firing as soon as police tried to enter the building.
“They opened the door, and that is when he fired,” George said. “And they all, you know, fell away from the stairs and down so they could get away from the gunfire.”
Joanne Pasternak, a waitress at a nearby restaurant who knew some of the victims, said: “It is hard. Who knows now [whether] you can come to work and if you’ll even make it home?”
It was the nation’s deadliest workplace shooting since July 8, when Doug Williams, 48, gunned down 14 co-workers, killing six, at a Lockheed Martin aircraft parts plant in Meridian, Miss., before taking his own life.
By MSNBC.com’s Alex Johnson and Mike Brunker. NBC’s Jim Avila contributed to this report.
Anyone wanna bet they try to revive SB 1195 on the back of this mess? Not that it has anything to do with pistols, or the fact that guns are BANNED in Chicago. No, the easy access we have to guns is the real problem.
Edited to add: They stormed the building when they determined there were injured people inside, but witnesses said Tapia didn't shoot until they rushed the building. Hmmmmmm.
Another senseless tragedy, my heart goes out to the victims and their families. That being said, when are the people of Illinois going to wake up and see that a gun didn't do this, some whacko did. When was the last time one of these nutjobs went in and shot up a police station ?? Or a gun shop ?? Or a military base ?? NEVER, because those people are ARMED and will be able to defend themselves. Do you really think this guy would have gone into that warehouse with a gun if he thought that maybe just one person in there was armed ?? NO WAY, cause he was a coward like the rest of the people who go on these rampages against UNARMED CITIZENS. We NEED a CCW law here in IL so we can protect ourselves and our families. Do we all have body guards with us at all times ?? Dick Daley does ! ! And are his guards armed ?? You bet they are ! ! Hey Ritchie, If we don't need guns to protect ourselves. Why are your guys carrying them ??
This was a sad day for the families of the victims. Unfortunately this will be used against law-abiding IL gun owners this year yet. What people who advocate gun control don't understand is that the police almost always come to the scene of violent crimes after they occur. This means, that the victims have already been physically harmed and it's too late for them.
The families of the victims will be in my thoughts and prayers. I have to say in regards that you need to pay close attention to what was actually said in this article.
"Problem is easy access to a gun"
In the city of Chicago this statement would prove to be true. Illegal guns are everywhere on the streets of Chicago's ghettos due to the complete failure of folks like Richie Daley and Lisa Madigan. Yes officer, you are correct the policy failures, corruption and incompetence of your Mayor has in-fact caused and illegal flood of guns to the streets of Chicago's criminals creating an urban hostage situation where criminals and wackos run amuck slaying the innocent who are unarmed and hard at work. That is a wonderful observation made by the Chicago PD. Read what this guy says and he hangs himself proverbally.
"This individual should have never had a gun."
Yeah....wow, you are brilliant officer. Please, continue singing to the Liberal media of the People's Republic Of Chicago this sad, sad tune. Guess what officer, we all agree that the mentally disturbed should not be toting pistols. Brilliant.
See this proverbial doornail tries to spin a tragedy to further the Socialist agenda of Northern Illinois Democrats....shameful. I bet as he muttered his lackluster cry for the mayor to see him on TV standing up for his political agenda he forget to take into account that some may be a bit quicker on the draw and shred his spin to shreads.
Fact is people are defenselss in Illinois and Chicago at large.
After reading an "easy access" rant on the ILL Coalition AgainstsHandgun Violence website, I sent th e email below to their Pres. No response yet.
Scream all you want about "easy access to handguns",
but everyone, including you and your patron Da Mayor
know this gun made the long 20 year journey from a
legal FOID-holder to the streets, via TWO of Daley's
precious spit-and-polish CPD Officers.
Daley's "Boys In Blue" broke a number of State felony
gun laws and a few Chicago Ordnances to boot. If the
two retired coppers were alive, I wonder how hard the
Mayor would punish them.
We all know he wouldn't do a darn thing.
It's positively SICKENING that Daley's first
reaction to the mass murder was to trot out his
tired, old anti-suburban gunstore propaganda.
Instead, he and his friend State's Atty. Dick Devine
should be asking why a multi-UUW criminal and
coke-fueled timebomb like Salvador Tapia was even
walking the same streets with decent working people to
Perhaps ICHV should help Mayor Daley push for a law
that requires Chicago Cops to leave their sidearms at
work when they go off-duty, just like the NYPD, where
only Detectives or higher ranking officers can carry
Daley has expressed intrest in the idea. It sounds
good to me.
Christpher K. Morley