UPDATE: Rick Davis' son killed in Orlando shooting
Tuesday investigators spent hours recreating a deadly workplace shooting, trying to figure out why a man went on a shooting rampage, before turning the gun on himself, Monday.
UPDATE: Tuesday investigators spent hours recreating a deadly workplace shooting, trying to figure out why a man went on a shooting rampage, before turning the gun on himself on Monday.
Flowers and candles now sit beneath the sign of the Orlando business. Overnight many paid tribute to the five lives lost when a gunman opened fire inside the company, killing five of his former co-workers.
One of the men killed once called the Tennessee Valley home and was the son of a well-known businessman.
Kevin Kyle Lawson graduated from Rossville High School. The 46 year-old called the well-known Chattanooga jeweler Rick Davis, "Dad." Channel 3 spoke to Davis by phone Tuesday, while on his way to Florida to be with family. Davis says he is still trying to understand why his son was targeted.
"Everybody myself included is still in shock," said Davis. " I just know when I pull in the driveway and see his wife it'll all go to pieces again, but it just seems unreal right now."
Davis got the phone call Monday afternoon after police identified his only son as one of the five victims gunned down by a disgruntled employee.
Davis says his son was a hard worker, just trying to do a good job.
"He told a couple of friends that he had some problems there that somebody wasn't doing their job," said Davis. "Him and one of the bosses had got together and decided that this guy wasn't workable and you know they terminated him."
Thirty minutes before the attack, Davis got a text message.
"Yesterday morning at 7:35 a.m. he sent me a text and said 'hope all is well love you guys' there was no special note, no special reason,it was just unusual to get a text at 7:30 in the morning from him," said Davis.
Davis responded with a note ending with "Love, Dad". He says he's thankful for that conversation now more than ever.
Davis told Channel 3 that he's always been proud of his son, a devoted husband, loving son and father of three. He wants people to know his son was a good man who didn't deserve this.
"Kevin was a good boy, he'd been hit with a car, he'd been to the war in Iraq and Desert Storm and he tried to do everything right," said Davis."He wanted everybody to be safe."
Davis has received hundreds of phone calls and messages. He wanted to thank everyone for their condolences.
He asks that the Chattanooga community continue to pray for his family.
PREVIOUS STORY: (WRCB) - The son a popular Chattanooga business owner is among the five people shot and killed inside a Florida business Monday.
Rick Davis, owner of Rick Davis Gold and Diamond, tells Channel 3 that his son, Kevin Kyle Lawson, died in the shooting that happened just after 8 am at Fiamma Inc. in Orange County.
“Please just keep us in your prayers,” Davis told Channel 3.
Davis says authorities confirmed his son was a victim in the shooting around 4 p.m. Monday. He is headed to Florida with family members.
UPDATE: (WESH) - Five people are dead after a disgruntled former employee opened fire inside an Orange County business on Monday.
Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said the shooting happened just after 8 a.m. at Fiamma Inc. on Forsyth Road, near Hanging Moss Road.
The former employee, identified as John Robert Neumann, Jr., was carrying a gun and a knife when he entered the business and shot his former co-workers.
Deputies found four people dead inside the business. A fifth victim died at Orlando Regional Medical Center. Seven people survived, deputies said.
Demings identified the five victims as:
- Robert Snyder, 69
- Brenda Motanaz-Crespo, 44
- Kevin Clark, 53
- Jeffery Roberts, 57
- Kevin Lawson, 46
Special Agent in Charge Danny Banks of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said "seven others' lives were saved due to the quick actions of the officers who arrived on the scene today."
Demings said Neumann shot and killed himself. The sheriff said the shooting is not believed to have any link to terrorism.
Neumann was discharged from the U.S. Army in 1999.
Fiamma Inc. makes awnings for recreational vehicles. The company says on its website that it is one of the largest manufacturers of awnings for camper vans, motor coaches and sports utility vehicles.
Demings said the shooter had been involved in a previous workplace violence incident and had been accused of battering another employee inside the business. He was not charged in that case.
The Associated Press spoke with Shelley Adams, whose sister, Sheila McIntrye, works for the company and was in the bathroom when shots rang out.
McIntyre is safe with police now but she called her sister during the shooting, and she was very upset.
She kept repeating, "My boss is dead. My boss is dead."
Gov. Rick Scott issued a statement after the shooting asking "all Floridians to pray for the families impacted by this senseless act of violence."
In his statement Monday, Scott said the Orlando community has been challenged like never before. He said he and his wife, Ann, are praying for the families who lost loved ones in the shooting reported about 8 a.m. Monday.
The Sheriff's Office said victim advocates are standing by at Family Unification Center at Full Sail University 3535 North Forsyth Rd. 407-679-0100 extension 3087.
Demings called the shooting a "tragic incident."
"It's a sad day for us, once again, in Orange County," he said. "Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of the victims."
PREVIOUS STORY: ORLANDO, FL (AP) — Law enforcement authorities in Florida say there are “multiple fatalities” following a shooting in an industrial area near Orlando.
On its official twitter account Monday morning, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said the “situation” has been contained. Officials say they’ll provide an update as soon as the “info is accurate.”
Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demmings is expected to make a statement soon.
Several roads in Orlando were closed as deputies responded to the shooting.
No further details were immediately available.