COLUMBUS, Ohio – A man who was fired from a toy warehouse that handles online orders for Toys R Us returned hours later and fatally shot a co-worker in the parking lot, causing an hourslong lockdown at the facility, police said Friday.
Witnesses told police that Donald Damron, 20, of Columbus, was shot around 10:45 p.m. Thursday while arguing with Eric Hamilton, 18, during a shift change at the warehouse, said police Chief Ralph Portier in suburban Groveport.
Witness statements indicate that the two men — both temporary, seasonal employees of the warehouse, which is operated by Exel Logistics — were arguing over a girl, Portier said.
Damron died at Grant Medical Center in Columbus. Investigators believe he was shot once in the chest, the police chief said.
Hamilton was apprehended less than four hours later hiding in the basement of his home about 20 miles away, Portier said. He has been charged with one count of murder, said the police chief, who did not know whether Hamilton had an attorney.
Some 800 employees were affected as the warehouse was locked down for nearly four hours following the shooting while police searched for the suspect and tried to identify witnesses.
Hamilton had been dismissed earlier Thursday from a job at the warehouse, said Cpl. Nathaniel Sheppard with the Franklin County Sheriff's office.
Sheppard did not know the reason for Hamilton's dismissal but described it as unrelated and "coincidental" to the shooting. However, Hamilton had been upset about being let go and initially refused to leave the building, though he eventually did leave on his own, Sheppard said.
The warehouse filled with toys ships online orders for Toys R Us, said Kathleen Waugh, a spokeswoman for the Wayne, N.J.,-based retailer. She deferred other questions to Exel Logistics, saying the men were employed by that company.
A message seeking comment left for Exel Logistics wasn't immediately returned.