Hours apart, disgruntled postal workers opened fire at post offices in Michigan and California today, killing two workers and wounding four other people. One of the gunmen was later found dead; the other fled.
A postal worker upset that a woman had gotten the job he applied for shot three people, killing one, at a post office garage in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn this morning, police said. He was found dead of a gunshot wound this afternoon.
In California, an employee who was dismissed several months ago calmly walked into a post office this morning in Dana Point, a seaside community 50 miles southeast of Los Angeles, and shot two workers, killing a letter carrier and wounding a clerk, police said.
A third person was shot on a street nearby about the time the gunman, identified as Mark Richard Hilbun, fled, but it was unclear if Hilbun was responsible.
"He tried to kill the postmaster, make his way into his office, but he didn't," a witness said.
In the Dearborn shooting, the suspect, identified by police as Larry Jasion, 45, an employee in the post office's garage, apparently entered the building this morning dressed in work clothes and fired at least two different types of weapons, Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Deziel said.
"He simply presented himself and began shooting," Deziel told reporters at the scene.
One man died and a woman and a man had bullet wounds and were listed in critical condition. Another man was in stable condition after suffering cardiac injuries as he fled the scene, Deziel said.
At least one of the victims was a supervisor at the post office, Deziel said.
Deziel said Jasion apparently was upset by a dispute over a promotion he had recently applied for but did not receive. A female employee was chosen for the job instead, but it was not immediately clear whether that woman was one of the shooting victims.
Jasion was described by Deziel as "eccentric" and "troubled." Other witnesses said he often wore military fatigues and regularly read survival and combat magazines.
Bob Fryz, a former supervisor at the Dearborn post office, told a local television station that Jasion had threatened him in the past. "He said he had a silver bullet with my name on it and he said he was going to get me," Fryz said.
Fryz also said Jasion once told him he had a 9 mm pistol and was going to come to work and "shoot everybody."
In the Southern California shooting, a manhunt was under way for Hilbun, described by area residents as someone prone to violent outbursts. He sped off on the freeway in a truck with a kayak on top.
Today's shootings were the latest in a series of post-office shootings around the country in the past decade.