A gunman opened fire inside a UPS warehouse in San Francisco on Wednesday, killing at least three people and injuring two more before fatally shooting himself.
The gunman was wielding an assault pistol and one other firearm, according to San Francisco Police Department Sgt. Toney Chaplin. Police did not reveal the gunman’s identity, but UPS confirmed that he was an employee.
Police told San Francisco General Hospital to prepare for as many as six victims, including the suspect.
“It’s fluid right now,” hospital spokesman Brent Andrew told the San Francisco Chronicle. “We’ve accepted some and we’re expecting more.”
Gunfire broke out inside the four-story building around 9 a.m. local time, a witness told the Chronicle. Several employees, wearing matching brown uniforms, fled to the building’s rooftop parking lot with their arms raised.
Other witnesses described two bodies covered in yellow tarp in the street outside the facility.
Chaplin said police were interviewing “dozens” of witnesses to establish a timeline of the shooting and a possible motive for the gunman. The incident was not related to terrorism, he said.
He declined to disclose the identities of the victims.
About 350 people work at the UPS facility, a package delivery center and sorting hub, the company said.
Authorities instructed residents to avoid the scene of the shooting near the Bayshore Freeway in the Potrero Hill neighbourhood, about 2.5 miles outside downtown San Francisco, according to the Associated Press. They lifted the restrictions around 11:30 a.m. local time.
Police also reportedly blocked off streets surrounding the hospital and were diverting motorists away from the building.
San Francisco city officials said a family assistance center was opened at 100 Kansas Street for relatives seeking help related to the incident.
UPS addressed the shooting in a statement published on its website:
“UPS confirms there was a shooting incident involving 4 employees within the company’s facility in San Francisco earlier this morning. Local law enforcement are conducting an investigation. We cannot provide information as to the identity of persons involved at this time, pending the police investigation. We understand that there are potentially multiple deaths, although some individuals were transported to the hospital and we are unsure of their status at this time.
The company is saddened and deeply concerned about affected employees, family members and the community we share. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those touched by this incident. To assist our employees during this time, UPS has made professional counseling available.”
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