Refugee in Virginia kills former co-worker, self; wounds 3
ROANOKE, Va. — A refugee from Kenya killed one former co-worker, wounded three others and killed himself Tuesday in a workplace shooting that authorities are trying to unravel in Virginia, police said.
Getachew Fekede, 53, had entered the country through a refugee immigration program and worked for the railcar manufacturer FreightCar America before being fired in March when he stopped showing up for work, Roanoke police Chief Tim Jones said.
Fekede quit his job over being harassed by a co-worker, a neighbor said. Clarence Jones said Fedeke would send money to his mother back in Kenya and had grown concerned about his finances.
Police said Fekede rode a bicycle to the facility near downtown and somehow entered its paint shop. Officers received a call of shots fired at 6:02 a.m. and arrived two minutes later. But by that time, Fekede had fired 10 rounds from a 9 mm pistol, Jones said.
One person died at the scene, and two others suffered wounds to their “lower extremities,” the chief said. A bullet grazed a third person’s chest. Fekede then killed himself, police said.
Two people remain hospitalized. Police said they’re not yet releasing names of the victims because some family members are traveling to Roanoke from out of state.
In a statement posted on its website, Chicago-based FreightCar America said it could not provide specific information about the victims but offered its “deepest condolences.”
The company referred further comment to Jim America, vice president and chief human resources officer, who did not immediately respond.
Fekede entered the country in 2011 through a refugee immigration program, the police chief said. The incident appears to be work-related but the possibility of terrorism will be investigated. Authorities have already checked his Roanoke apartment as part of their investigation.
“All information at this time points to Fekede acting as the sole perpetrator,” the chief said.
Fekede was terminated in March after failing to show up to work three days in a row, police said.