Manchester, Conn. (WTNH) - Police in Manchester say 34-year-old Omar Thornton of Enfieldopened fire at Hartford Distributors, where he worked, at around7:30 Tuesday morning. He killed eight people and then turned thegun on himself.
Two others were also injured following the shooting at HartfordDistributors at 131 Chapel Road.
Names of two of the victims were released Tuesday night. BryanCirigliano, 51, of Newington and Victor James, 59, of SouthWindsor. Mr. Cirigliano was president of Teamsters Local 1035. Hewas present during the disciplinary hearing.
Omar Thornton arrived at the building at 7am for a scheduledmeeting with the company and union officials. He was asked toresign after he was caught on tape stealing beer from the facility.John Hollis, a spokesman for the union, says Thornton was a driverat the company and had been employed there for about ayear.
The first 911 calls reporting the shooting were placed around7:30am.
At a 5pm press conference, Manchester Police Chief Marc Montminysays they believe that the weapon used was a handgun.
“We believe that the handgun was used but we’re notprepared to describe the weapon at this time.”
Thornton was being escorted from the building when the gunfirestarted. The victims were located in various spots around thecomplex.
“There was a disciplinary conference prior to theshooting. I do not know what the results of the disciplinaryconference were. We believe that he was offered an opportunity toquit or be terminated and while being led from the facility,that’s when the shooting erupted."
Police say Thornton was alive when they first responded to thecomplex. They did not fire any shots and they don't know yet howmany shots the gunman let off.
In a statement, Manchester police said the suspected shooter waslocated by police "inside of the building and deceased from anapparent self-inflicted gunshot wound."
As for the names of the other victims, Police Chief Montminystated: “At this time we are not prepared to release thenames of the victims. We still need time to make sure that familyhas been updated before we give the names to the press.”
Officers from the state police bomb squad searched the gunman'scar and the building for any explosives. A small fire also startedin the building, adding to the chaotic situation. State police tellNews 8 that the investigation could take two to three days.
According to Hartford Hospital, three of the shooting victimswere taken to their emergency room. One was pronounced dead at thehospital, one has been treated and released and one is stillhospitalized in serious condition.
About 50 to 70 people were in the warehouse because it was ashift change, said Brett Hollander, the director of marketing atHartford Distributors.
Hollander's cousin, a vice president at the company, was shot inthe arm and the face, Hollander said, but he thought he would beOK. It was not clear if he was among the victims taken to HartfordHospital. Hollander, whose family owns the distributor, said he didnot know the shooter well and didn't know how long he had workedthere.
Employees were bussed over to Manchester High School Tuesdaymorning where family members met up with them.
A hotline has been set up for family, friends, and otherswho've been impacted by the Manchester massacre. Anyone looking forinformation can call 860-645-5521.
The company is a beer and ale distributor that has been inbusiness for more than 60 years. The owners of the company releasedthe following statement:
“Everyone at Hartford Distributors is devastated by this morning’s tragic and senseless act. Our focus right now is on the families and making sure that we get the accurate information. Information is still being confirmed and we will release that information as it becomes available.”
Gov. Jodi Rell issued the following statement on thetragedy:
“My hearts and prayers go out to the employees and families of the victims. In the wake of this tragedy, we are all left asking the same questions: How could someone do this? Why did they do this? It was a senseless act of violence that has left us all shaken and reminds us just how precious and fragile life truly is.”
Grace Randolph of Beyond the Trailer was on Good Morning Connecticut to talk about "Out of the Furnace" and "Anchorman 2"
This week's Report It Recap starts with video from Nick, who takes us inside a building at the University of New Haven Tuesday as police swarmed the campus after a 911 call about a someone spotted with a gun.
A big toy drive that goes a long way towards brightening the holidays for local kids is underway in Bridgeport.
A Hartford Superior Court judge has ordered a new election in New Britain to correct an Election Day ballot mix-up.
A federal judge has sentenced to five years in prison a Torrington man convicted of bank fraud and described by federal prosecutors as a "recidivist of the worst order."
A Florida flight attendant has been acquitted in Connecticut of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old boy more than 100 times.
Reaction is pouring in from around the globe with the passing of Mandela. He's being remembered as a man who changed the world.
A man charged in the killings of three people during an alleged Bridgeport drug turf dispute in 2005 is going on trial in state court.
A pastor is accused of stealing from his own church and church members say he went on a spending spree.
The Connecticut Police Chiefs Association says Newtown police responded rapidly and followed current policy at last year's Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.