Crime scene (courtesy twitter.com)

A former employee at an Alabama UPS facility shot two UPS supervisors before taking his own life. “The incident happened just before 9:30 a.m.,” al.com reports, “as police received multiple calls of an active shooter at 4601 Inglenook Lane, the customer service center and warehouse. ‘Patrol units responded quickly, they rallied and made entry,’ said Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper. ‘They were able to clear the building and, of course, during the shooting, multiple employees exited the facility.’ Once the officers arrived and entered the building, they found three dead people inside the business. ‘It appears it was the shooter still wearing his UPS uniform and two other employees,’ the chief said. The shooter is believed to be a 45-year-old white male from the Argo area . . . Police this afternoon confirmed the shooter was fired from his job.’He received his final papers Monday,’ said police spokesman Lt. Sean Edwards. ‘Today he was not expected to return to work because he was no longer employed there.'”

54 Responses to BREAKING: Three Dead At Alabama UPS Facility

    • Yup. It’s against UPS employee policy to carry a firearm at work or on their property. A lot of the big sort facilities have a “guard shack” with metal detectors as well. The whole security theater deal is more to discourage theft than stop any type of violent event. The guards are unarmed and their “checks” never caught the P3AT that I used to stick in with my cooler when I did the Christmas seasonal driver thing many moons ago. Of course things may have changed, but I doubt it.

    • I worked at UPS for 7 months a few years back. Speaking from personal experience I can tell you that UPS distribution centers have an unarmed guard at the separate entrance and exit gates with walk through metal detectors both directions. However, since steel toed boots are the norm and the volume of employees at shift change is so large that it is impossible to roll up every pant leg. As a result it is rarely if ever done and it would be very easy to smuggle any easily concealable pistol past their security. Therefor their very pointed zero tolerance for weapons policy only applies to the good guys. No big surprise there.

      UPS does however have a very proactive and heavily staffed loss prevention department. While they do not necessarily have a loss prevention person on staff at every site every day they do have a secured office at each of these facilities. Many of them are former military and law enforcement and they spend the majority of their time investigating claims of missing or opened packages. Within UPS the loss prevention team is almost never spoken of. I believe it is an effort to keep them anonymous and as invisible as possible to those who do steal. Another reason is likely because in each of their locked offices is a shotgun.

      So while UPS does not allow it’s employees to be armed or employ armed security, they do provide a few fairly anonymous employees with some means of defense, even if it is locked in an office to be used by somebody who is only on site part of the time. Unfortunately it doesn’t sound like it helped in this specific situation.

      • I am not by any means casting doubt on the truth of your story, but I have a hard time believing that a shotgun is kept under lock and key for loss management personnel.

        I know that there are plenty of ranchers in free states who issue out rifles to shoot gophers or granaries that have employees carry .22 pistols with ratshot for pest control. But I have a hard time believing that every UPS distribution center has a shotgun. It seems like a hell of a liability to take on.

        Again, not saying that you are lying, but It’s just hard for me to imagine.

        Is this a corporate policy? What happens in states like NJ or NY?

        • It was a surprise to me the first time I saw it as well, but it was there the second and third times I was in his office at my facility as well. I never did find anything in the policy book about it, but then again I was never an official member of the lost prevention team.

    • So what? Gun free or gun abundant, there’s nothing you can do against someone intent on killing only two people, plus himself. That is so limited and happens so quickly, that it’s over long before anyone else could draw, let alone before the police can respond.

      Defensive guns are useless against quick hit suicidal attackers.

      • OK. But what if this guy came there with the intent of shooting as many people as possible? He might have killed dozens in a matter of minutes. Gun Free zones are killing zones. It is an empty, feel-good idea that makes people LESS safe.

        • You had me at “OK.” Once you agreed with the VERY NARROW AND LIMITED point I made, strictly addressing a suicidal attack intent on killing only one or two people, then there’s nothing else to talk about. I made my point, you agreed with it.

          Now, if you want to pivot and discuss spree shooters bent on taking out as many people as possible, or any other tangent that might cross your mind, go ahead. Whether I would in turn agree or disagree with that ENTIRELY DIFFERENT POINT is interesting, but irrelevant to my original point. Heck, bring up the old “‘Tastes great!’ ‘Less filling!'” debate for all I care. I only addressed suicidal attackers intent on killing only one or two people.

          For the record, I’ll give you a great big “No duh!” on the mass spree shooter scenario point and agree that everyone willing and capable of handling a self-defense firearm should sure as hell carry one everywhere, every time, to counter whatever lethal threats come their way. If that’s a spree shooter roaming the halls, an armed defender is a great response and puts the lie to the myth of the security purportedly provided by silly “no guns” signs. If it’s a suicidal guy immediately targeting just one or two people, do whatever you want, but it probably won’t help you, anyway.

      • Do you have some kind of evidence that those killed did not have time to draw and fire? I’d like to see that video. Otherwise, I only imagine defenseless victims hunted down with no means to defend themselves, and it makes me sick. Your assumption, IMHO, is completely irrational, and you use the murders of *unarmed* people to “demonstrate” your assumption that *armed* people cannot defend themselves against violent attack, despite literally thousands of years of evidence proving you are wrong.

        • Larry, don’t drink and blog. You sound ridiculous. The plain fact that a killer showed up, killed two people, then took out himself, with no cops bearing down on him, is proof enough of his specific and limited intent. He did what he did without opposition preventing him from doing more. If he’s wanted to do more, he would have done more. It is entirely rational to conclude that since he didn’t, then what he did was the totality of his intention. You calling a fairly obvious deduction “irrational”, really speaks more about your own hysteria and hyperventilation. Calm down and re-read my post. Sheesh. Some people are so high strung and on the lookout for anyone in here who doesn’t toe the absolutist line, that they’ll speed read through a post, misunderstand a pretty clear meaning, then launch into their own misguided counter post. Good grief.

          All I’m saying is that if someone wants to kill someone, or even two someones, all they have to do is walk straight up to you, pull a gun and do it. It happened in Las Vegas with those two cops. It happened with Reagan. It happened with Oswald. There’s nothing you can do about it, your firearm self-defense fantasies notwithstanding. You will not be able to outdraw a drawn gun, especially when the drawn gun is fired immediately upon presentation, probably from behind.

          Now, like the jackwagon above, if you want to change scenarios and instead argue against a much wider and different point from the one I actually made, then go ahead; but that ranges from poor reading comprehension to delusion on your part, and has nothing to do with me or my point.

          Bringing up examples of people who have successfully defended themselves with firearms, which may well number anywhere from the hundreds of thousands to couple of million per year, is completely irrelevant because the circumstances of those many and varied encounters do not represent the very narrow and specific scenario I described. You don’t get to disprove the specific with the general, any more than you may prove the general with the specific.

          Now, I know you from your history here to be a generally reasonable and thoughtful contributor. So I’m setting this aside and moving on. After all, this single specific response of yours is not representative of your posts in general. So it proves nothing about you. Let’s start fresh next time. Fair enough?

  1. The thing that really prompted me to start carrying consistently every day was when a slightly unstable employee got fired from our company…

  2. I thought firings were handled on Fridays to avoid snaps like this. True that a determined killer will do it no matter what, but the weekend cool down might have an impact on those that would otherwise be okay after some time to vent.

    • There are different schools of thought on this. The angle on no Friday firings is that the newly-unemployed won’t go home and take it out on their family.

      There really is no best way to shit-can a f**k-up employee.

      Besides as early as possible in their tenure.

      • The best way is armed. While his supervisor is armed. And anyone who works with him has the option to be armed. This is not rocket science. Dreaming about the enchantment of shooting a dozen people loses much of its charm if imagining 5 people shooting back is mixed in.

        BTW, don’t they have any security? How did he get in if he’d been fired? I smell a lawsuit.

    • Of mass murders in general, not limited just to workplaces, the stats I’ve read indicate Mondays account for 19% of events, Saturdays 7%, and the rest about evenly distributed among the other days. So maybe one man’s cooling off period is another man’s preparation period?

      Same data indicates about 22% of mass murders take place between 9:00 a.m. and noon, and about 48% between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Again, that’s mass murders in general. Maybe that pattern is more pronounced for workplace murders specifically?

      A researcher would really have to dig into the data to isolate mass murders that take place at a workplace, and of those, the ones committed by a former/current employee or an ex/spouse/stalker of an employee.

      Regardless, combine the time of day, with day of week data, and there’s a new reason to dislike Monday mornings.

      • Side note: while I understand the current criterion for “mass shooting”, an incident like this one should not be included. It was a double-murder/suicide, with intentional, known targets, for a specific reason. It was a premeditated crime of retribution.

        A “mass shooting” is one in which an assailant targets a group of unknown people for reasons not directly related to the victims. Aurora and Newtown were mass shootings. This incident was not.

        • That’s a good point to raise, Chip. Like more good points, it gets me thinking about another good point.

          Namely, there really is no “official” definition or set of criteria, as determined by law enforcement, academics in criminology, or the law itself, that establishes what a mass shooting is. Other than “mass” implying some quantity of casualties greater than one, or perhaps even just some quantity of shots fired at some quantity of individuals greater than one, plus the obvious of a gun being fired, there’s really nothing universal to go by.

          Could be a random place, could be a place with special meaning to the shooter. Could be a target of opportunity or at least representative of something. Targets could be known or unknown, or a combination, to the shooter(s). Could be a stand alone crime or could be a consequence of some original offense, like an armed robbery.

          I’d agree that Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Columbine and the Batman shootings were all “mass shootings”, but those are easy. It’s when you get close to the defining lines, when those defining lines are unknown or controversial, that it gets tricky placing events into categories. One note of caution, though, against defining these things too strictly, as in strictly in terms of number of dead bodies, pertains to crafting countermeasures.

          A shooter going after just one or two specific people and succeeding, would appear identical from a statistical standpoint to a shooter going after as many as he possibly could, but failing in anything more than killing just the first two (perhaps because he was stopped by a lawful concealed carrier). However, the dynamics of those two scenarios are very different, despite having identical body counts, and our countermeasures shouldn’t be one-size-fits-all, for lumping them both into the same category based on appearances.

          Indeed, antis sometimes cry “That doesn’t count!” in some cases where a good guy with a gun stops a would-be mass shooter, specifically because that bad guy didn’t actually kill umpteen number of people to qualify as a mass shooting. If we’re to understand the two categories (or more) of these shootings and develop effective measures against them, we’ll need to acknowledge that there’s more to each event than just the body count.

    • OFFICE SPACE:

      Peter Gibbons: You’re gonna lay off Samir and Michael?

      Bob Slydell: Oh yeah, we’re gonna bring in some entry-level graduates, farm some work out to Singapore, that’s the usual deal.

      Bob Porter: Standard operating procedure.

      Peter Gibbons: Do they know this yet?

      Bob Slydell: No. No, of course not. We find it’s always better to fire people on a Friday. Studies have statistically shown that there’s less chance of an incident if you do it at the end of the week.

  3. Postal Worker who wants to carry because his buddy got killed by robbers looking to do mail fraud: “This is why we can’t have nice things.”

  4. UPS has big “no gun” signs up EVERYWHERE. tell that to the supervisors’ families.. . .

    of course, I ignore those signs for this very reason when i have to go to my local UPS for package pickups

  5. So, if a ship sinks and people die because of a lack of life rafts, the captain goes to jail. If a building burns down and people die because it doesn’t have the required fire equipment, the business owner faces jail time. Why is it that when a company disallows the carry of self defense weapons, then fails to provide armed protection for its employees and customers, the owners of the company do not face arrest and imprisonment.

    • <bloomberg>
      If there had been armed employees there, at least 20 more people would have died in the crossfire.
      </bloomberg>

      • And, Mr. Bloomberg, it is precisely for this reason that you should not exercise employ armed bodyguards to protect you and yours. These “retired” LEOs were exempted by Congress from local carry bans because they have a special need to protect themselves from the “customers” they encountered when they protected and defended the public at large. They have a special personal need. Their special need is not transitive to you.
        Your wandering around the streets of NYC creates a concentrated zone of fire. Many disgruntled “customers” of the Criminal Justice System can simply try to follow your movements whereupon they can get the drop on a former NYPD officer who “serviced” their arrest. These criminals will fire on their antagonist; your bodyguards will fire back. Innocent people will be hit (based on an assumption that your bodyguards have the same hit-rate of NYPD officers in general.)
        If we are interested in public safety, retired LEOs should be prohibited from using their carry exemption privilege to sell themselves as armed security to the rich and privileged. Only active-duty politicians ought to be privileged with armed personal security (and those, at public expense).
        That retired LEOs are a special class is clear; they are a special class. Whether it is good/bad public policy to extend to them any particular privilege (parking next to fire hydrants; exemption from State CC laws) is a separate question. Whatever the particular privilege might be, is it good public policy to allow the privileged class to “rent” their privilege to non-members of this class? E.g., if we allowed retired LEOs to park next to fire hydrants would we allow them to work as UPS drivers and park their trucks at fire hydrants?
        Or, am I barking up the wrong tree here? Perhaps Congress is not gracing retired LEOs with any special personal privilege. Instead, Congress is imputing from their training – and possibly years of service – that they are skilled-enough to safely carry notwithstanding State primacy in deciding how to exercise public safety authority. I.e., we have a form of Federal CC permit based on a vague standard of imputed skill. If so, I want this standard of skill made explicit. Then, I want to apply to be tested to see if I can meet the explicit standard. If I do, then I get a Federal CC permit too.
        (I’m not arguing for a Federal CC permit. I’m simply trying to analyze what Congress did in exempting retired LEOs from State carry laws.)

    • That sounds familiar…

      ‘did the shooter have an assault weapon?!?!?’

      Both are looking for the cause you happen to have a stake against.

  6. I got it!

    They just need more *signs*.

    No Criminals allowed.
    No depressed people allowed.
    No loons allowed.
    No ex-employees allowed.
    No USPS or ex-USPS employees allowed.
    No people who can’t read allowed.
    No people who ignore signs allowed.

    And then, more anti-gun laws too. That should fix the problem.

    Hey, Panera; this should be instructive.

  7. From the al.com reports story:

    “The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is also on the scene at UPS. ATF officials said they are providing technical support, and any guns used in the shooting will be traced as well as submitted through NIBIN to determine if they had been used in any other shooting.”

    That was fast; guess ATF wants to provide “technical support” should any of *their* specially sourced guns be involved…you know…just in case.

  8. Other than UPS being a “gun free zone”, I really don’t see this as being anything worthy of “breaking” news. Disgruntled worker returns to the office and murders the two supervisors who fired him. There’s not really much to discuss, nor does the incident have much if any impact on anyone outside of the involved families.

    Though, the story, and some of the comments, does make me think of something that might be worth researching: the rate of workplace shootings at workplaces that ban guns, versus those that don’t (are there very many in the latter category?).

  9. My employer lets the inmates run the asylum anyway so I don’t really have the power to fire the people I’d like to. Guess that goes hand in hand with their “no weapons” policy.

  10. It may have been a really bad story if the supervisors were armed and killed the poor former employee when they shot back in self defense. They would have lost their jobs, and possibly any retirement options they had with the Government.

  11. I wonder if the families of the victims would have grounds to sue citing inadequate security which was made even worse due to the policy that forced them to disarm to remain employed. At the very least a lawsuit might force them to relax the no gun policy so at the very least a supervisor or manager would be allowed to be armed especially since their duties force them to fire employees and in doing so risk their lives doing so.

  12. The company I work for has a policy allowing firearms in the field where animal attacks may be of concern but do not allow them in the concrete jungle (the office) for the more likely attack scenario of walking to your car in the downtown parking deck or going to a restaurant for lunch.

  13. Seems like a lot of “Was he on antidepressants?” “Was he on SSRIs?” talk here.

    A lot of gun people who are perfectly OK with throwing other gun owners under the bus on the issue of depression. “Just man up!” “Snap out of it!” “Power through it!” “Get a grip!” – obviously, people who have never dealt with it first hand.

    Depression “leading to mass homicide” is a correlation at best, not a causal relationship. But more and more, it seems, that both antis and gun folks are ready to say, “Well, well, if you’ve ever been treated for depression, you certainly should be a prohibited person! After all, that won’t affect MY gun rights, and I’m not ~crazy~.”

    Depression is damned complex. I’ve dealt with it all of my life, and my father eventually lost out to it. I hope I don’t follow his path on it. But, no, there is no tendency, urge, or propensity to harm anyone else. That takes *something else*. Something beyond depression.

    The vast majority of people who deal with depression don’t shoot up schools or UPS buildings. It’s fractional at best, statistically insignificant, more accurately.

    Often people who engage in mass shootings have an entire suite of issues going on. Depression and treatment for depression is usually just one facet that presents itself more visibly than the other swarms of static going on in their heads.

    There is no “magic bullet” or “perfect pill” we can point at to say, “that causes mass shootings”, any more than guns magically turn people into murderers.

    Doubling down on making people seeking treatment for depression into pariahs who lose their gun rights is going to cause far more problems than it solves.

    • “Doubling down on making people seeking treatment for depression into pariahs who lose their gun rights is going to cause far more problems than it solves.”

      And that there is the “Crux of the biscuit” as F. Zappa once said.

      Something the supposed ‘betters’ seem to be unable to grasp.

      There is no ‘best’ way to to terminate an employee (outside of organized crime employ). Its an unpleasant situation with a degree of inherent peril.

      Those who have never had a dance with serious depression have zero appreciation for what it is. And that pisses off those who have had that walk.

  14. Let’s count how many times the word ‘shooter’ is used instead of ‘murderer’ or ‘perpetrator.’

    One wonders if ‘shooter’ is used because it advances the gun-control narrative.

    Also, why is it relevant to report his age and race, unless to also force a narrative.

  15. “BTW, don’t they have any security? How did he get in if he’d been fired? I smell a lawsuit.” Several folks on here said there is security but the guards are not armed. So, how hard is it to shoot the so called security guards on the way in and then shoot a few more before committing suicide. Sounds pretty easy to me and I am guessing that is what happened. Maybe others can enlighten us further.

  16. I’m a UPS employee and frankly I’m shocked that he was able to get a weapon through our barely trained, unarmed, minimum-wage, outsourced security guards and their defective metal detectors.

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