ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. (WESH/WFLA) — Authorities have identified a disgruntled former employee who entered the back door of an Orlando area business on Monday morning and shot and killed five people, before he committed suicide by shooting himself.
Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings identified the shooter as 45-year-old John Robert Neumann Jr., who was fired from Fiamma Inc. in April. Demings also said records show Neumann was a veteran who was discharged honorably.
On Monday morning, deputies found three men and one woman dead inside Fiamma, which is located on Forsyth Road. A fifth victim died at Orlando Regional Medical Center.
The sheriff’s office has identified the victims as 57-year-old Jeffrey Roberts, 69-year-old Robert Snyder, 44-year-old Brenda Montanez-Crespo, 53-year-old Kevin Clark and 46-year-old Kevin Lawson.
The sheriff said Neumann had been involved in a previous workplace violence incident in which he was accused of battering another employee inside the business. He was not charged in that case.
Demings said the shootings happened around 8 a.m. He said Neumann was armed with a handgun and a fairly large hunting knife. He was deliberate when it came to which employees he shot.
“We have information that at least one of them, he had a negative relationship with. He was certainly singling out the victims that he shot. One of the employees was a temporary employee. He encountered her and told her to get out of the business. He re-loaded,” said the sheriff.
Most of the victims were shot in the head, some were shot multiple times. At least eight people witnessed the shootings, one witness may not have been an employee.
Demings said that Neumann entered the business through a back door and shot himself shortly before deputies arrived.
Investigators believe he was a lone gunman and no one else was involved in the plot. “This individual made a deliberate plan to do this today, he had a plan,” said Demings.
Detectives are working to get a search warrant for Neumann’s home. They say he lived alone and did not have any relatives who live in the area.
Todd Bluewater runs a business in the same building as Fiamma Inc. and knows all of the employees.
“They’re awesome. They are the nicest people in the world. I don’t know why someone would do this to them,” Bluewater said. “I’m shocked to tell you the truth.”
A reunification center has been set up nearby for families and employees to gather and meet with a chaplain.
“Please pray for these families,” one Fiamma Inc. employee told WFLA as he left the building.
Gov. Rick Scott issued this statement after the shooting:
Over the past year, the Orlando community has been challenged like never before. I have been briefed by our law enforcement officials on this tragic incident and 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.”
Fiamma Inc. makes awnings for recreational vehicles. The company’s website says it is one of the largest manufacturers of awnings for camper vans, motor coaches and sports utility vehicles.
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