DENVER – A small fire rekindled early Monday at the Safeway Inc. warehouse where a few hours earlier a gunman began shooting at colleagues and set several fires before he was shot to death by police.
Workers were able to put out the smoldering fire in a paper-goods storage area, Fire Department spokesman Phil Champagne said. But it added to employees' unease following the deadly attack Sunday afternoon.
More than 150 people had fled the sprawling warehouse as the gunman, described as a co-worker, began shooting. The shooter and one other person died in the attack, and five other people were wounded, two of them critically, authorities said.
Police did not immediately release the gunman's identity or discuss possible motives for the attack.
"He was just shooting and lighting fires. He wanted to turn the building on fire," Safeway worker Jesus Lopez told KMGH-TV. "I just ran. Everybody just ran out."
About an hour after police entered the warehouse they confronted the suspect, who shot 38-year-old SWAT officer Derick Dominguez in the hip, Police Chief Gerry Whitman said. An officer then shot and killed the suspect. As officers later searched the 1.3 million-square-foot center, they found the second victim, Whitman said.
Police spokesman Sonny Jackson said at least one 911 caller named employee Michael Ford as being involved in the shootings, and Whitman said there was no reason to believe there was more than one suspect, though the investigation was continuing.
According to Safeway spokesman Jeff Stroh, Ford filled orders in the produce department and had worked at the center for more than a year.
Stroh said the company planned to evaluate its safety policies and would have grief counselors available at the center for the employees.
"Whenever workplace violence occurs, you really have to take a step back and look at what you're doing," Stroh said.
Two of the five employees wounded employees remained in critical condition early Monday, officials said. Two others, including the officer, had been upgraded to serious condition, while another had been released. None of their identities except the officer's were released.