Mass Shooting In Orlando Office Building; Suspect Apprehended

(Friday, November 6th, 2009)

fgu.jpgFIRST REPORT 12:50PM EST: [ALL UPDATES BELOW] At least eight people were shot inside a downtown Orlando high-rise office building Friday morning, according to WESH.

Emergency personnel were called to “Gateway Center” at 1000 Legion Place around 11:30 a.m. The building is near Lake Ivanhoe.

The Orlando station is reporting that all patients have been taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center. At least four of the eight patients are serious trauma cases.

According to WFTV, two people are confirmed dead.

Orlando Fire Department spokeswoman Vicky Robles said a shooter has not been taken into custody.

“We don’t know who they are,” Robles said.

WESH 2 News reporter Greg Fox said gurneys are being wheeled toward the building. However, some rescue personnel may be waiting for clearance from authorities that the scene has been secured.

Media reports indicate there is a huge police response in the area with officers surrounding the building with guns drawn.

There is no word on a motive, or suspect(s).

This shooting comes less than 24 hours after the horrific massacre at the Fort Hood Army Base in Texas.

UPDATE 1:23PM EST: The suspect has been identified by Orlando PD as Jason Rodriguez, and is possibly driving a silver Silver Nissan SUV. Police say he is a former employee from the building – although the motive has not (and can not) be confirmed at this time.

UPDATE FROM CNN AT 4:00PM EST: Authorities Friday apprehended a gunman who entered an Orlando building where he used to work and shot six people, killing one of them, the city’s police chief said.

Five others were wounded in the shooting on the eighth floor of the Gateway Center, Orlando Police Chief Val Demings told reporters. She said one other person had “chest pains.” Authorities at one point had said that seven people had been shot.

“The information we have is that the victims were all employees of one company,” Mayor Buddy Dyer said at a news conference.

Authorities said the victims were in stable condition.

The suspect surrendered to authorities at his mother’s house after officers looking through a window saw him there.

“He was arrested without incident,” Demings said, adding the information she’s received indicated that there was only one gunman.

Earlier, authorities identified the suspect as Jason Rodriguez, who formerly worked for Reynolds Smith and Hills, an architectural and engineering firm, in Gateway Center. A company spokesman said he had been let go two years ago for “performance issues.”

Demings said authorities received a phone call around 11 a.m. ET about an active shooting at the 16-story office building.

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Shortly afterward, officers arrived at the building, which lies beside Interstate 4 and Lake Ivanhoe on the northern edge of downtown, and began searching it floor by floor, she said.

Meanwhile, police cordoned off the area and a sheriff’s department helicopter circled overhead.

During the search for the suspect, I-4 was closed in both directions, but it had reopened by midafternoon Friday, according to the Department of Transportation’s Web site.

Mike Bernof, a spokesman for Reynolds Smith and Hills, said the company’s office in Orlando primarily does transportation engineering work and that Rodriguez did engineering with the firm. He did not offer further details.

Bernof said that as far as he knew, all the people who were shot were with the firm.

Public records indicate that Rodriguez filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in May and that the case was discharged in September.

A woman who answered the telephone at Price Law Firm in Orlando confirmed that lawyer Charles Price represented Rodriguez in the bankruptcy filing but would not offer details.

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)

9 Comments

  1. stzc says:

    Would anyone be surprised if there’s a connection between the two incidents????

  2. tina18 says:

    “Would anyone be surprised if there’s a connection between the two incidents????”
    I would – im sure its just a disgruntled worker

  3. Ben Melech says:

    #2 And the other one was a disgruntled Muslim. The question is, disgruntled with what?

  4. stzc says:

    #2 You could be right – but I still wouldn’t be surprised if there were a connection.

  5. Alizak28 says:

    That is what I said STZC. There has to be a connection to the 2.

  6. midwesterner says:

    tina18, it definitely appears that you are coorect today. :-)

  7. waiting for moshiach says:

    suspect in custudy

  8. locknload says:

    There are no jobs, no money, and no brains in Wash. DC, but nut jobs are never in short supply, and there’s nothing to do to stop their rampages.

  9. stzc says:

    #9 Very well put. I agree with you.

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