Update: Officials have confirmed that the shooting incident was the handiwork of a former disgruntled employee. Six people have been killed – including the gunman who turned the gun on himself.
Less than a week before the first anniversary of the Pulse nightclub massacre, reports are coming in about a shooting in Orlando that has reportedly left multiple people dead and several others injured. According to Fox News, the shooting happened off Forsyth Road in Orange County, near Full Sail University, at around 9 a.m., local time. Local law enforcement agencies and the FBI have responded to the scene of the attacks and have already started a preliminary investigation.
A statement issued by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the incident, adding that there were multiple fatalities. However, they also confirmed that the scene has been “stabilized.”According to an eyewitness, people in the vicinity heard multiple gunshots emanating from a local business. Florida Gov. Rick Scott was has been briefed on the situation a few minutes after the shooting took place following which he issued a statement that read;
“Over the past year, the Orlando community has been challenged like never before. Ann and I are praying for the families who lost loved ones today. I ask all Floridians to pray for the families impacted by this senseless act of violence. I will remain in contact with the Orlando law enforcement community throughout the day as more information is made available.”
We have embedded a few tweets that were sent out a few minutes after the attack took place.
OCSO working a shooting scene. No phone calls please. All info on feed & at scene. Sheriff Demings will brief. Media staging:2530N Forsyth— OCSO FL News (@OrangeCoSheriff) June 5, 2017
OCSO working shooting scene that has stabilized. Multiple fatalities. Situation contained. Sheriff will brief as soon as info is accurate.— OCSO FL News (@OrangeCoSheriff) June 5, 2017
OCSO on shooting scene w/ multiple fatalities. Situation contained, Now investigating tragic incident & will soon have accurate information— OCSO FL News (@OrangeCoSheriff) June 5, 2017
Sheriff Demings on scene of tragic shooting with multiple fatalities. Getting briefing. Will address media shortly. pic.twitter.com/f7jZrmXuhl— OCSO FL News (@OrangeCoSheriff) June 5, 2017
Hours after the incident, officials have confirmed that death of five people in the shooting that took place. The shooting was allegedly carried out by a “disgruntled” former employee who killed five people inside the business before turning the gun on himself. According to Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demmings, the active shooter was first reported at around 8 am., local time. Deputies arrived on the scene in under two minutes and found the bodies of four people – three men and a woman inside the business. A fifth individual was found severely injured and was rushed to a hospital. However, he was pronounced dead on arrival. Another seven individuals who were inside the business at the time of the incident survived the shooting.
Authorities have now confirmed the identity of the gunman. The man has been identified as 45-year-old John Robert Neuman Jr. The names of all five victims have been identified as well. They were identified as 69-year-old Robert Snyder, 53-year-old Kevin Clark, 44-year-old Brenda Montanez-Crespo, 46-year-old Kevin Lawson, and 57-year-old Jeffrey Roberts 57. According to investigators, Neumann was an army veteran who was discharged in 1999. He was employed at the Fiamma.Inc, a local awning manufacturing company until April 2017 – before being fired for unknown reasons. All evidence that investigators managed to gather till now seems to indicate that this shooting was the result of personal vendetta. Robert, according to officials also had a criminal history although most of his arrests were “minor in nature.” He has been in the past arrested for possession of marijuana and DUI. In 2014, he was also reportedly involved in a “workplace violence incident” where he was blamed of battling with one of his co-workers. Officers have also established that the gunman had a “negative” relationship with one of the victims.
Meanwhile, authorities have now confirmed that Robert Neuman Jr. was the only gunman who carried out the shootings and that that the incident was not connected to terrorism. There was no indication that Neuman Jr. was about to execute an attack of this nature.
“This violence is frustrating. The only way we have a fighting chance is to ask the public to report any suspicious activity,” Demings said.
The FBI was also on the scene and has since then confirmed that this was not a terrorist act.
[Featured Image by John Raoux/ AP Images]