California workplace shooting: Third victim dies
Authorities have confirmed that a third victim has died in the workplace shootings near Cupertino, Calif., that left seven others injured, including several in critical condition.
Two people died at the scene and the third at the hospital, Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith said at a noon news conference. The shootings took place at the Lehigh Southwest Cement Co.
A massive manhunt is continuing for Shareef Allman, 49, a trucker at the quarry, who authorities said showed up at a safety meeting at the plant early Wednesday armed with an assault rifle and handgun and opened fire, killing two at the scene and wounding seven others. One of the wounded later died at a hospital.
Later, authorities said, the suspect attempted to steal a woman’s car, then shot her. She was taken to a hospital, where her condition was not immediately known.
Smith said officials have recovered a shotgun, handgun and two assault weapons. They still believe Allman to be "armed and dangerous" and Smith called on anyone who has a cellphone number for him to report it to authorities, although they do not believe he has one.
"The challenges are the big geographical area, the challenges are we know he is armed," said Smith, who confirmed that deputies have been in touch with Allman's family.
Asked what her message was to the fugitive, she said: "Please surrender. There are a lot of officers out there looking for you. We need you, we need you now and we need to make sure that the public is safe."
Smith said Allman’s car was found at a gas station and that a surveillance camera had gotten pictures of the armed fugitive. She cautioned residents who lived in the area to be careful and to call 911 if they noticed any suspicious activity.
Smith said the suspect had a minor criminal record dating back to 1996, possibly for theft, but she did not elaborate.
Mitchell Julien, 50, who showed up at the scene and said he knew Allman, said the suspected gunman was “not a monster.” He described Allman as “a highly spiritual guy.”
Allman was “concerned about issues in the black community,” Julien said. “He was trying to uplift us as a people…I’m totally blown away. He was always uplifiting. If you meet him, you’d love him. He was not violent. He was a lovable kind of guy…Something really bad had to have happened up there for him to do this.”
-- Maria L. La Ganga in Cupertino, Calif.
Photo: A manhunt took officers into a Cupertino, Calif., neighborhood. Credit: Paul Sakuma / Associated Press