Four people are dead after an employee opened fire at a UPS facility in San Francisco on Wednesday morning, killing three and injuring two before turning the gun on himself, police said.
Officers responding to the scene encountered multiple shooting victims before cornering the shooter, whose identity was not divulged, assistant police chief Toney Chaplin said at a news conference.
The gunman was armed with two weapons, Chaplin said, and killed himself with an assault pistol. The shooting was not a terrorist attack and the gunman appeared to be acting alone, he added.
UPS spokesman Steve Gaut told the Associated Press that the shooter was an employee and that the incident began before drivers were sent out for their daily deliveries.
Larry Greathouse, who works at a nearby tire shop, said he realized something had happened when a “massive police presence” showed up. Multiple UPS workers came into the shop, he said, and one told him that a fellow UPS employee had “shot two guys on the way in and one on the way out”.
“It was chaos,” recalled Mission Hill Saloon patron Nicole Goodman of the morning’s police action.
“It’s the most ambulances and police cars I’ve ever seen in my life,” added bartender Erin Russell.
Two homeless men living in tents nearby, Moe Smith and Antwun Dixon, said they had heard the gunshots.
“I heard three, maybe four or five shots, then screaming,” said Dixon. “The whole thing took three minutes.”
The police responded to emergency calls from workers in the cavernous warehouse shortly before 9am. At about 10.30am, the police said that the incident was contained and the building was secure.
The UPS facility is a package delivery and sorting center with 350 employees in San Francisco’s Potrero Hill neighborhood. Dozens of uniformed employees were seen evacuating on foot.
“We all know the familiar faces of our local UPS drivers and delivery persons,” said San Francisco mayor Ed Lee. “Today’s tragedy will be felt in every community served by these committed employees.”
“The company is saddened and deeply concerned about affected employees, family members and the community we share,” UPS said in a statement.
Half a dozen UPS employees refused to make eye contact with a reporter, repeatedly stating “no comment, no comment” or “I ain’t seen nothing, man”. One driver confirmed he’d been sent home for the day by 10.45am. UPS said it would provide counseling to employees.
Some onlookers were gathered at intersections around the facility, which takes up almost an entire city block, as police continued to process the crime scene.
“Everyone’s got some family working at UPS,” said one man.