Police: 9 Dead In Conn. Warehouse Shooting

Nine people are dead after a shooting at a Connecticut beer distributor. Union officials say Omar Thornton was on his way to a disciplinary hearing at the business, where he was employed as a driver. He allegedly opened fired on co-workers before killing himself.

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Connecticut police are investigating a workplace shooting in a Hartford suburb, nine people are dead. From member station, WNPR, Lucy Nalpathanchil reports.

LUCY NALPATHANCHIL: Police have identified the shooter as 34-year-old Omar Thornton. Co-workers say Thornton was a truck driver at Hartford Distributors, a beer and wine wholesaler in Manchester, Connecticut.

Police say Thornton was being escorted from the property this morning after a disciplinary hearing, when he pulled out a handgun and started shooting. Calls immediately began pouring into 911. An hour later, police say they found Thornton's body among the dead.

Manchester Police Lieutenant Joe San Antonio says it appears the suspect died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Lieutenant JOE SAN ANTONIO (Manchester Police Department): The police did not discharge their weapons at any time during the response.

NALPATHANCHIL: Once news reports filtered out into the community, family and friends rushed to the site. Employee Mark Quatropani has a son who was also working at the warehouse this summer. He described what his son saw.

Mr. MARK QUATROPANI (Hartford Distributors): He actually said he saw the shooter walking up to the dock, and he just jumped the other way, and which I was saying, you know, great. You know, you just you get out -you see a gun, you run the other way.

NALPATHANCHIL: Quatropani says he was shocked to hear the name of the alleged shooter.

Mr. QUATROPANI: He's, like, one of the quietest, shyest people around.

NALPATHANCHIL: Among the dead, was 51 year old Brian Cirigliano, the president of the Teamsters Local 1035 that represents drivers at Hartford Distributors. Others confirmed dead include Victor James. His 86-year-old mother Gloria Wilson lived with him. Wilson told WFSB Television she heard about the shooting on the news.

Ms. GLORIA WILSON: I just started praying. Don't ever want, you know, anything to happen to him. He's such a good fellow, everybody likes him. He's got two nice daughters, you know, my grandchildren.

NALPATHANCHIL: Wilson says James also liked his job. He had been working at Hartford Distributors for 30 years. Later this month, James would have turned 60 years old.

The company where the shooting took place has long roots in the Hartford area. The beer and wine wholesaler has been in business for 66 years, owned by the Hollander family. The family is reeling from the tragedy that took place inside their business. Family member Steve Hollander is among those shot this morning, but hes expected to recover.

For NPR News, I'm Lucy Nalpathanchil in Hartford.

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