San Francisco UPS shooting leaves 4 dead, including gunman

Posted: Updated:

By PAUL ELIAS and JOCELYN GECKER
Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A UPS employee armed with an assault weapon opened fire Wednesday inside one of the company's San Francisco packing facilities, killing three co-workers before fatally shooting himself as employees fled frantically into the streets shouting "shooter!" and police swarmed in, authorities and witnesses said.

Amid a barrage of gunfire, some workers sought refuge on the roof of the four-story facility, while others ran outside and pounded on the windows of a public bus, witnesses said.

"They were screaming, 'Go! Go! Go!'" said Jessica Franklin, 30, who was riding s to work when the bus made a regular stop in front of the UPS facility. "As they got on the bus, they were all ducking."

Two other United Parcel Service employees were wounded in the shooting that prompted a massive police response in one of the city's industrial neighborhoods, about two miles from downtown San Francisco, Assistant Police Chief Toney Chaplin told reporters.

UPS spokesman Steve Gaut said the shooter was a company employee. A San Francisco Police Department official identified him as Jimmy Lam of San Francisco but had no immediate details on his background, noting the name is common in the San Francisco Bay Area and finding information required significant record searches.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

Officials, UPS employees and witnesses described chaos as shots rang out during a morning meeting before drivers were sent on their delivery routes.

Police have not yet released victims' names but families and friends identified one of the people killed as 46-year-old Mike Lefiti, a UPS driver.

Lefiti's cousin, Mack Toia, told KGO-TV he was at the UPS facility waiting to pick up Lefiti when he heard shots. He left his van and saw his cousin sprawled on concrete behind a gate, Toia said.

"The police officers were right on the scene just like that. I got to touch him, but I couldn't hug him," Toia said. "They just pushed me away because they were trying to resuscitate him."

Toia said he was able to tell Lefiti he loved him.

Co-worker Isaiah Miggins said he saw Lefiti, known as "Big Mike," as he arrived for work just before 9 a.m., a few minutes before the shooting started. "He was a joyful man. Always happy," Miggins said.

On social media, heartbroken family members of Lefiti recalled him as a warm-spirited man devoted to his children and family. A photo on his Facebook page shows Lefiti in his brown UPS uniform holding a trophy. He also posted photos of his UPS truck and an award for 15 years of service to the company in 2015.

Neighbor Raymond Deng said he heard up to eight gunshots.

"They were all in rapid succession," said Deng, a 30-year-old tech worker who lives across the street from the warehouse. "It was like tat, tat, tat, tat, tat, tat, tat."

Police arrived in minutes.

"This was a frightful scene," Chaplin said. He said officers found two victims outside and others inside and pulled the wounded to safety as they confronted the gunman, who was armed with an "assault pistol."

"The suspect put the gun to his head and discharged the weapon," Chaplin said, adding that police did not fire any shots.

Chaplin said police have not determined a motive and were interviewing families of victims and witnesses to piece together what led the gunman to act.

Mayor Ed Lee condemned the violence and praised authorities for a "very proactive response."

"It could have been worse," he said. "Lives were saved today."

It was not immediately clear how many employees were at the facility, but UPS said the warehouse employs 350 people. The shooter and all the victims were employees, UPS said in a statement.

UPS driver Marvin Calderon told KNTV that he recognized the gunman as a fellow employee but did not know him personally.

"I just started running out like crazy, like I've never run before," Calderon told the TV station.

After the gunfire, auto shop owner Robert Kim said he saw "a mob of UPS drivers" running down the street screaming "shooter, shooter."

Deng watched from his window in the Potrero Hill section of San Francisco as workers fled the building. He said another group of about 10 people gathered on the roof and held up their hands waving for help.

"I saw police officers go up from the ramp and then storm the buildings," he said. "It's crazy."

The shooting occurred the same day a gunman opened fire on Republican lawmakers at a congressional baseball practice in Virginia, wounding U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana and several others.

___

AP writers Janie Har, Sudhin Thanawala and Linda Wang in San Francisco and Mike Balsamo contributed reporting from Los Angeles.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • CrimeMore>>

  • Police capture suspect in deadly Maryland office park shooting

    Police capture suspect in deadly Maryland office park shooting

    Wednesday, October 18 2017 11:31 AM EDT2017-10-18 15:31:22 GMT
    Thursday, October 19 2017 7:15 AM EDT2017-10-19 11:15:57 GMT
    (Maryland State Police via AP) This photo provided by the Maryland State Police shows Radee Labeeb Prince, who police say opened fire with a handgun a business park in Harford County, Md., Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017, and then fled.(Maryland State Police via AP) This photo provided by the Maryland State Police shows Radee Labeeb Prince, who police say opened fire with a handgun a business park in Harford County, Md., Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017, and then fled.

    A sweeping multi-state manhunt ended Wednesday night when officers on foot chased down a man they say shot six people, killing three, in two separate shootings.

    A sweeping multi-state manhunt ended Wednesday night when officers on foot chased down a man they say shot six people, killing three, in two separate shootings.

  • Man convicted of killing, dismembering girlfriend

    Man convicted of killing, dismembering girlfriend

    Thursday, October 19 2017 5:13 AM EDT2017-10-19 09:13:43 GMT
    (File photo) Man convicted of killing, dismembering girlfriend(File photo) Man convicted of killing, dismembering girlfriend

    A jury has convicted a man accused of killing and dismembering his girlfriend and scattering her remains in at least two locations.

    A jury has convicted a man accused of killing and dismembering his girlfriend and scattering her remains in at least two locations.

  • Former Menendez staffer contradicts prosecution testimony

    Former Menendez staffer contradicts prosecution testimony

    Wednesday, October 18 2017 8:05 PM EDT2017-10-19 00:05:46 GMT
    U.S. Senator Robert Menendez greets supporters as he arrives to court in Newark, N.J., Monday, Oct. 16, 2017.U.S. Senator Robert Menendez greets supporters as he arrives to court in Newark, N.J., Monday, Oct. 16, 2017.

    A former staffer for U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez gave testimony at his bribery trial Wednesday that differed from the prosecution's version of events.

    A former staffer for U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez gave testimony at his bribery trial Wednesday that differed from the prosecution's version of events.

sorry to interrupt
your first 5 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 5 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 5 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login, create an account or subscribe to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."