The gunman in the shooting at an Orlando business on Monday morning planned to kill five of his former coworkers by singling them out and fatally shooting them before turning the gun on himself, police said.
John Robert Neuman Jr., 45, walked into Fiamma Inc. off Forsyth Road in Orange County about 8 a.m. and opened fire, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said in a news conference. Deputies arrived two minutes later, after a woman called 911 from the tile business store across the street.
“All she kept saying was he was holding a gun and told her to get out,” said. Yamaris Gomez, the tile store’s owner.
Officials found three men and a woman dead at the scene. A fifth person, a man, was rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Seven people survived the shooting.
The five victims were later identified as Robert Snyder, 69, Kevin Clark, 53, Brenda Montanez-Crespo, 44, Kevin Lawson, 46, and Jeffrey Roberts, 57.
Neumann, who later killed himself, was an army veteran who was discharged in 1999. He was fired from Fiamma Inc., an awning manufacturing company, back in April. The employee had a criminal history “minor in nature,” with arrests for possession of marijuana and DUI. Officers had been called to the company back in June 2014 for a “workplace violence incident” in which “he allegedly battled another employee here in the business,” Demings said. He added that Neumann had a “negative relationship” with one of the employees he killed.
OCSO working shooting scene that has stabilized. Multiple fatalities. Situation contained. Sheriff will brief as soon as info is accurate.
— OCSO FL News (@OrangeCoSheriff) June 5, 2017
Fiamma Inc. did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Shelley Adams told The Associated Press that her sister, Sheila McIntyre, called her from the building’s bathroom during the shooting and was very upset. She kept repeating “My boss is dead. My boss is dead,” Adams said.
A witness said they heard multiple, very loud gunshots, according to Fox 35 Orlando. Neumann paused at least once to reload his gun. Demings said most of the victims were shot in the head and some of them suffered multiple gunshot wounds.
Officials believe Neumann was the only gunman and there was no indication he was going to carry out the attack, according to Demings.
“This violence is frustrating. The only way we have a fighting chance is to ask the public to report any suspicious activity,” Demings said.
The FBI was on the scene assisting local police on the investigation, a spokesperson from the bureau told Fox News. But Demings said authorities could not “connect the incident to any global terrorism.”
Florida Gov. Rick Scott said in a statement that he has been briefed on the situation.
“Over the past year, the Orlando community has been challenged like never before,” Scott said.
“Ann and I are praying for the families who lost loved ones today. I ask all Floridians to pray for the families impacted by this senseless act of violence. I will remain in contact with the Orlando law enforcement community throughout the day as more information is made available,” the statement read.
The shooting comes a week before the one-year anniversary of the Pulse nightclub massacre, also in Orlando, where 49 people were fatally shot by Omar Mateen, an Islamic extremist.
Fox News’ Kathleen Reuschle, Catherine Herridge and The Associated Press contributed to this report.