Police confirm gunman, 8 coworkers dead in rampage at Conn. beer distributorship

By Stephen Singer, AP
Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Police confirm 9 dead in Conn. warehouse shooting

MANCHESTER, Conn. — Police in Connecticut have confirmed nine people were killed and two others injured in a shooting rampage at a beer distributorship.

Manchester police Lt. Christopher Davis says the shooter is among the dead at the Hartford Distributors facility.

A company official identified the shooter as Omar Thornton, a driver who had been asked to quit his job. He refused and instead opened fire.

A union official says Thornton had been caught on videotape stealing beer.

Police say Thornton commited suicide after killing eight co-workers. His girlfriend’s mother says Thornton, who was black, complained of racial bias, but the union says it knows of no complaints of racism.

The two injured workers are expected to survive.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

MANCHESTER, Conn. (AP) — A high-ranking union official says a man who fatally shot eight co-workers and himself at a beer distributorship in Connecticut had been caught on videotape stealing beer.

Union officials say Omar Thornton had worked as a driver for a couple of years and had been called in for a disciplinary hearing Tuesday and asked to resign. He instead opened fire at a warehouse in Manchester.

The mother of Thornton’s girlfriend says he had complained of racial harassment and that his bosses had not responded. But a union official tells The Associated Press that Thornton had “made no complaint of racism to us or to any federal or state agency.”

Teamsters Local 1035 official Christopher Roos says Thornton was “a disgruntled employee who shot a bunch of people.”

Associated Press writer Lynne Tuohy in Concord, N.H., contributed to this report.

will not be displayed