Workers Wonder Why? Community Mourns Men Killed - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

Workers Wonder Why? Community Mourns Men Killed In Fresno Workplace Shooting

Posted:
FRESNO, Calif. (KMPH) -

Workers at a Fresno meat processing plant will return to work Thursday, two days after a deadly shooting which left three employees dead, two others recovering from gunshots, and a community - stunned.

Bosses at Valley Protein describe the shooting as a horrific, random act of violence.

Wednesday night, dozens of friends, family, and employees held a candlelight march in front of the plant.

"I just don't understand why he did it. Why did my cousin have to be the first person shot?" said Ofelia Olea, a cousin of one of the men killed.

"He was a good person, you could go to him for anything, to play around to be serious, to talk to," said Olea.

The gunman shot both her cousin, Salvador Diaz and his co-worker, Manuel Verdin, in the head.

Verdin leaves behind a wife and a two-year-old son.

"These gentlemen were at work, trying to support their families and somebody came in and gunned them down. They might not have had an opportunity to protect themselves. The families are coping with that," said Chris Martinez, a friend of Verdin.

Police say 42-year-old Lawrence Jones shot a total of five of people, including himself.

Two employees survived.

Jones was a discharged parolee whose rap sheet dates back to the 90's and includes burglary, robbery, and auto theft.

But his boss says he was a good employee.

"Rode his bike to work every day, never missed, never late. He'd say good morning Bob, I'd say good morning back, how you doing today Lawrence? I'm blessed to be here," said Bob Coyle, president of Valley Protein.

Coyle met with his employees Wednesday, and brought in grief counselors to help them cope.

He says Jones gave no warning signs of trouble, and believes he shot random co-workers as he walked through the building.

"One worked right next to him, the other worked in the grinding room. Based on geography, I think that's how people got picked out, where they were," said Coyle.

"Everyone wants an answer, sometimes there are no answers," said Michelle Coyle, the company's human resource official.

The plant was closed for business Wednesday; employees will head back to work Thursday starting at 5:00 a.m.

The Fresno County coroner finished an autopsy on Jones, and is waiting on toxicology results, to figure out if he had any drugs or alcohol in his system at the time of the shooting.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Wildfire Destroys 33 Homes, Some Homeowners Return to Rubble

    Wildfire Destroys 33 Homes, Some Homeowners Return to Rubble

    Firefighters from as far away as San Diego are spending Monday night putting out hotspots from the fire burning between Oakhurst and Bass Lake.Monday afternoon, firefighters announced the so-called “Courtney Fire” was held to 320 acres.It is 35% contained, after destroying 33 homes. Another 4 homes were damaged.“We didn't have a full effect of what the damage was,” says Chris Christopherson, with CalFire.“Going through and seeing the aftermath, it's heart-breaking… it's gut-wrenching.”Jon Cun...More >>
    Firefighters from as far away as San Diego are spending Monday night putting out hotspots from the fire burning between Oakhurst and Bass Lake.Monday afternoon, firefighters announced the so-called “Courtney Fire” was held to 320 acres.It is 35% contained, after destroying 33 homes. Another 4 homes were damaged.“We didn't have a full effect of what the damage was,” says Chris Christopherson, with CalFire.“Going through and seeing the aftermath, it's heart-breaking… it's gut-wrenching.”Jon Cun...More >>
  • Central Valley Honor Flight - Veterans Arrive In Washington D.C.

    Central Valley Honor Flight - Veterans Arrive In Washington D.C.

    69 veterans traveling with the Central Valley Honor Flight are in Washington D.C. The World War II veterans are in the nation's capitol to see the memorial dedicated to their service.More >>
    69 veterans traveling with the Central Valley Honor Flight are in Washington D.C. The World War II veterans are in the nation's capitol to see the memorial dedicated to their service.More >>
  • Fresno Boy Becoming a Dance Star On Dance Moms

    Fresno Boy Becoming a Dance Star On Dance Moms

    Do you think you can you dance? I mean dance really well? Fresno's own 9–year–old Gavin Morales can dance and he has the medals and trophies to prove it. So how did Morales get started? Gavin says, "I watched my sister dance. I just said I really want to dance. I just kept practicing and practicing all my tricks. Tricks he's now mastered that have made Gavin a name in the dance world. KMPH Fox 26 News caught up with ...More >>
    Do you think you can you dance? I mean dance really well? Fresno's own 9–year–old Gavin Morales can dance and he has the medals and trophies to prove it. So how did Morales get started? Gavin says, "I watched my sister dance. I just said I really want to dance. I just kept practicing and practicing all my tricks. Tricks he's now mastered that have made Gavin a name in the dance world. KMPH Fox 26 News caught up with ...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KMPH. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.