Gunman Kills 2, Self at Calif. Medical Center

Pharmacy worker believed to have been fearing layoffs
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 17, 2009 4:08 AM CDT
Gunman Kills 2, Self at Calif. Medical Center
Long Beach Police officers surround the Long Beach Memorial Hospital after a shooting that left two people dead and one in critical condition yesterday.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

A worker at the Long Beach Medical Center shot and killed his boss and another manager before taking his own life yesterday, reports the Los Angeles Times. Witnesses said pharmacy technician Mario Ramirez, 50, showed up for work brandishing a pair of handguns and deliberately sought out his victims. Friends say he had heard rumors of impending layoffs.

Ramirez, described by colleagues as a "funny, humble, nice" man with a wife and children, had never had any personnel problems at the center, said a hospital spokeswoman who added that layoffs had been made last month but no further job reductions were planned. "There were no signs or indication that something like this could happen," she said. "I don't believe there was anything we could have done." (More shooting stories.)

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