Owner, UPS Driver Among 5 Dead in Mpls. Business Shooting
Five people are dead, and four others are injured after a workplace shooting at a business in Minneapolis.
According to authorities, the shooter who opened fire at the business, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The shooting occurred around 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Accent Signage Systems on the 2300 block of Chestnut Avenue West in the Bryn Mawr neighborhood.
Police say the Hennepin County Medical Examiner Office will officially identify the shooter and the four people killed and the cause of deaths once their investigation is complete.
So far some of the victims killed have been unofficially identified as the founder of the firm, a UPS driver, and the shooter.
Chad Blumenfield says Reuven Rahamim, the owner of the business, was shot to death in the attack. Rahamim was Blumen's father-in-law. In a Friday statement to The Associated Press, Blumenfield says other members of the family died, but he provided no details.
An "incredibly proud husband, son, father and grandfather, has passed away in a senseless act of violence," Blumenfield said. "Other members of the Accent family tragically lost their lives as well, and we mourn their loss."
Rahamim started Accent Signage Systems, Inc. in the basement of his Minneapolis home in the early 1980s, according to the business publication Finance & Commerce. Rahamim said he chose that name because he wanted it to be the first sign company listed in the Yellow Pages.
The small interior signage company specializes in American with Disabilities Act-compliant signs after developing a patented method to create Braille signs for the blind. U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce Francisco Sanchez praised the company for its innovation during a visit to the facility in August, the paper reported.
Rahamim was born and raised in Israel and served as a soldier in the Israeli army before coming to the U.S., Blumenfield said.
"He loved his work and dedicated much of his energy to developing new and greener products," he said by email. "He loved cooking and having people over at his home. He loved spending time with his children and grandchildren and especially loved to take his grandson for bike rides."
Also dead is a UPS driver, identified as Keith Basinski. The president of UPS's Northern Plans District released a statement about the incident:
“We are profoundly shocked and saddened over this tragic event involving our driver, Keith Basinski. Our deepest sympathies go out to his family and the families of the other victims. We also pray for the full recovery of others injured in the shooting. Keith had been a part of our UPS family for 29 years and we are going to miss him very much. We are cooperating fully with authorities in their investigation.”
UPS spokesman Mark Dickens says given the time of day, Basinski was probably picking up the customer's outbound shipments, but could have been making a delivery as well.
Hennepin County Medical Center was treating four more people from the incident Thursday night.
Hennepin County Medical Center spokeswoman Christine Hill said Friday one of the injured, John Souter, who is the Director of Operations at Accent, has been upgraded to serious condition. She says another patient, Eric Rivers, who is the Production Manager, remains critical. A third person has been treated and released. Hill says she has no information on the fourth person critically wounded in the shooting.
Police have not released the gunman's name, but shortly after the shooting police went to a home on 12th Avenue South in Minneapolis. Property records show the home is owned by Andrew Engledinger, who is a former employee of Accent Signange. We are told Engledinger was fired from his job yesterday. A family member says Engledinger died in the shooting.
Police spokesman Steve McCarty said police searched a house late Thursday where the suspected gunman had lived but found "nothing that we know of." He declined to confirm a newspaper report that named the suspect.
Dozens of squad cars and SWAT officers swarmed the neighborhood Thursday afternoon, and traffic was stopped on a nearby bridge along Penn Avenue, where officers had rifles drawn and pointed at the business and a park below.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak said employees who were working when the shootings occurred were together and being cared for Thursday evening.
"We are deeply sorry about what has happened here," he said, calling the shootings "a horrible tragedy."
Click here for information on a memorial fund for the victims.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Reuven Rahamim pictured in photo above.
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