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Orlando man opens fire at former workplace

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POLICE ON THE SCENE: For the investigation of a shooting in Orlando, F.L. at Fiamma Inc., Orange County Police and its K-9 unit secure the surrounding area on the morning of Monday, June 5, 2017. Five people were pronounced dead on scene, including the shooter, John R. Neumann, Jr., and one man was pronounced dead at the hospital, totaling five homicides and one suicide.

Jamie Cashman, Staff Writer

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John Robert Neumann Jr., 45, shot and killed five Fiamma Inc. employees before shooting himself on Monday, June 5, 2017 in Orlando, F.L. Neumann was a former employee of Fiamma Inc., but was fired in April 2017.

Active shooting began at 8:03 a.m., and police arrived on the scene two minutes later. Three men and two women were found dead on the scene, and one man was pronounced dead at the hospital due to one or more gunshot wounds. Most were fatally shot in the head or shot multiple times.

The victims are identified as Kevin Clark, Kevin Lawson, Brenda Montanez-Crespo, Jefferey Roberts, and Robert Snyder.

Clark, 53, was a widower of six years and single father of two teenage children. Lawson, 46, was a married father of four daughters and two grandchildren. There is currently no immediate information on Montanez-Crespo, 44. Snyder, 69, was one year from retirement and is succeeded by his daughter Jennifer Blevins. Roberts, 57, began in January 2017 as a sales manager.

Todd Bluewater, operator of Cool Blue Systems next door, knew all of the employees since the companies shared a building for the past three years.

Bluewater says, “Brenda was like a ray of sunshine . . . her smile could light up a room. Kevin was like an uncle and Bob was totally awesome. They were all good people. Family people. My heart goes out to all their families.”

Neumann was armed with a semi-automatic pistol and multiple knives. Reports state that he reloaded his gun multiple times during the attack.

Witnesses claim that Neumann targeted these victims specifically, singling them out for personal reasons. Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demmings reports that Neumann had had a “negative relationship” with one of the victims.

Before opening fire, Neumann pointed his gun at a new temporary employee and told her to leave. It is likely that she is responsible for calling the police from across the street in a tile shop. Eight other people were present in the building at the time, and all remain uninjured.

Shelley Adams, sister of a Fiamma employee present during the shooting, was on the phone with her sister, saying that she kept repeating, “I saw too much. My boss is dead. My boss is dead.”

Neumann had a prior criminal record consisting of DUIs and arrests for possession of illegal marijuana. Officers intervened in a workplace violence incident in June 2014 when Neumann reportedly battered a fellow employee. The victim of the 2014 incident was not among the dead on Monday.

Police describe Neumann as a “disgruntled” former employee and army veteran, honorably discharged in 1999. It appears that he was acting alone and did not have a concealed carry permit for the pistol, but there are no ties to terrorism or subversive groups.

Freshman Dylan Waynor says, “This man was obviously disturbed even before this attack and capable of using a hand gun, likely from previously being in the army. Someone should have seen this coming.”

Recent attacks in Orlando make people worried that even the authorities’ best efforts cannot keep civilians safe.

This attack comes one week before the one year anniversary of the Pulse massacre in June 2016, also in Orlando, F.L. A gunman shot and killed 49 people, making the attack the nation’s largest terrorist attack since 9/11.

“Orlando just can’t seem to catch a break. Keep this up and no one will want to live there in a few years. People keep getting killed, and there’s very little anyone can do to stop it,” says freshman Carly Choborda.

How can authorities prevent attacks like this in the future? How do these attacks impact people living in Orlando?

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Monroe Township High School's digital newspaper.
Orlando man opens fire at former workplace