Orlando Shooting Targets Suspect's Ex-Employer

Police and SWAT team members gather at the shooting scene in Orlando. Fla. i i

Police and SWAT team members gather at the scene as employees evacuate their offices after a shooting at the Legions Place office building in Orlando, Fla., on Friday. Reinhold Matay/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Reinhold Matay/AP
Police and SWAT team members gather at the shooting scene in Orlando. Fla.

Police and SWAT team members gather at the scene as employees evacuate their offices after a shooting at the Legions Place office building in Orlando, Fla., on Friday.

Reinhold Matay/AP

An Orlando, Fla., man was in custody Friday accused of killing one person and wounding five others at the downtown office of an engineering firm where he once worked.

Police tell The Associated Press that suspect Jason Rodriguez thought the company had blocked his efforts to obtain unemployment benefits after he was fired two years ago.

Orlando police identified the man who died as 26-year-old Otis Beckford. Police say Beckford was standing near a receptionist's desk in the office of Reynolds, Smith and Hills when the firing began. He was hit by at least two bullets.

Jason Rodriguez i i

Jason Rodriguez is seen in this undated photo provided Friday by the Orlando Police Department Friday. Rodriguez is considered the suspect in the shooting at an Orlando office building. AP hide caption

itoggle caption AP
Jason Rodriguez

Jason Rodriguez is seen in this undated photo provided Friday by the Orlando Police Department Friday. Rodriguez is considered the suspect in the shooting at an Orlando office building.

AP

Police say Rodriguez will be charged with first-degree murder for Beckford's death and could face other charges.

Rodriguez, 40, was arrested without incident at his mother's home hours after the shootings. Police Chief Val Demings said the suspect surrendered after police saw him through the window and asked him to come outside.

Demings said Rodriguez walked into his former office at Reynolds, Smith & Hill, an infrastructure engineering firm, and started shooting about 11 a.m. EST.

"This is a tragedy, no doubt about it, especially on the heels of the tragedy in Fort Hood that is on our minds," Demings said. "I'm just glad we don't have any more fatalities or any more injuries than we currently have."

Mike Bernof, a spokesman for Reynolds, Smith & Hill, told CNN Rodriguez was released from his job as an engineer in June 2007 for performance issues. He did not elaborate. The firm performs transportation engineering work for the Florida Department of Transportation.

Gerry Gilgo, who works on the floor where the shooting occurred, said she was meeting a co-worker at the elevators for lunch.

"She yelled, 'There are gunshots! There are gunshots! Get back in your office,' " Gilgo said.

Will Halpern, an attorney on the building's 17th floor, was among the last group to be evacuated. He said the lobby was filled with about 20 officers in SWAT gear, carrying assault weapons, ready to search.

Police and Orange County Sheriff's Department deputies shut down Interstate 4, which runs through the city, and closed other streets as they searched for Rodriguez's silver Nissan after the shootings.

Many area buildings and schools were locked down as authorities searched for the suspect.

From reports by NPR, member station WMFE and wire services

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