A deadly Memphis post office shooting resulted in the death of three employees, including manager James Wilson and supervisor Demetria Dortch. James Wilson and Demetria Dortch were shot by a third postal worker, who later died due to a self-inflicted gun wound.
The suspect’s name has yet to be revealed as the FBI search for answers as to what happened at the Tennessee sorting facility. ABC News was told that the gunman was a letter carrier who was temporarily assigned to the Orange Mound post office.
Laquita Benjamin, president of the National Association of Postal Supervisors Memphis branch, confirmed that the shooter was on assignment at the facility, but that she was unaware of any potential motive. FBI spokesperson Lisa-Anne Culp later confirmed that the shooter was one of the three employees killed as well.
“You can’t just relate it to the postal service because you have school shootings, store shootings, you have shootings all over,” she said, referring to the difficulty of investigating the Memphis post office shooting due to the sheer volume of shootings in the country.
According to ABC News, Melvin Richardson, president of the American Postal Workers Union Local 96, said that the postal facility is only used by employees, where staff sort mail throughout the day.
A family member, Roxanne Rogers, identified her cousin James Wilson as one of the postal worker killed to local news outlets. She said that he was a manager at the East Lamar Carrier Annex in Orange Mound, which is known as a historic area in Memphis.
“He was a humble soul, one of the nicest supervising managers you could ever wish there was,” Roxanne Rogers said. She too is a postal worker, but for another facility. James Wilson is reportedly survived by his wife, who was left unnamed in FBI reports.
“It’s a devastating shock to everybody,” she continued. “Not just to the post office and family, to the community itself. People who knew him out in the community that didn’t work for the post office loved him. The church loved him, everybody loved him.”
Little has been released about Demetria Dortch, the supervisor who was also killed in the Memphis post office shooting, but her identity was revealed by a local Memphis ABC News affiliate.
A neighbor nearby the Memphis post office shooting named Floyd Norman said that he was working on his truck when he heard loud noises coming from the mail sorting facility. He said that the streets were blocked off all Tuesday as police investigated, but that everything was back to normal come Wednesday morning.
“I heard people screaming and hollering, and that’s when I saw the police come up,” Floyd Norman, 65, told local reporters. “It’s just a lot of police, running with shotguns… I’ve never seen nothing like that around here.”
By Wednesday morning the next day, however, the mail center was open and busy. Floyd Norman said that he wasn’t surprised at all, remarking, “The mail’s got to go out.”
“The Postal Service is saddened at the events that took place today in Memphis,” USPS said in their official statement. “Our thoughts are with the family members, friends and coworkers of the individuals involved. The Postal Service will be providing resources to all employees at the East Lamar Carrier Annex in the coming days and weeks.”
The Memphis post office shooting marked the second prominent incident this week resulting in the death of a postal worker, after a small plane crashed into a California neighborhood and killed a UPS driver.
“Today’s shooting at the postal facility in Orange Mound is yet another example of why I am concerned that too many guns are out there and in possession of people who aren’t able to control their anger,” said Tennessee congressman Steve Cohen. “I express my profound condolences to all those affected by this terrible event.”
Memphis also experienced two school shootings just this past month – one at Timberview High School where a 13-year-old boy was shot and another at a Kroger grocery store, which injured at least a dozen people.