Police Outline Deadly Emcore Rampage
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., July 14, 2010 — At a press conference Tuesday, Albuquerque Police Chief Ray Schultz outlined the sequence of events that took place Monday at fiber optics and solar manufacturer Emcore Corp. in a domestic violence-related rampage that left two women and the gunman dead.
At about 9:15 a.m. Monday morning outside Emcore, Robert Reza, 37, confronted his first victim, Sharon Cunningham, 47, on the outside stairs of building 2, which contains Emcore's administrative offices and its fiber optics work. She was on her way up the stairs, carrying equipment that she was moving from building 1 to building 2.
"He immediately began firing at Miss Cunningham, without provocation, without warning," Schultz said. Cunningham was hit twice and died later at the hospital.
Reza then noticed that his ex-girlfriend, Adrienne Basciano, 49, was sitting at a table just below the stairs with co-worker Michelle Turner, 36. He began firing his .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun at Basciano, hitting her multiple times. She was taken to the hospital in critical condition but was upgraded to serious condition on Wednesday. Reza had been battling Basciano for custody of their twin 5-year-old sons.
Turner attempted to escape by running along the front of the building, Schultz said, but Reza fired and hit her, knocking her to the ground. He then approached her and fired additional rounds from close range while she lay prone. Turner died at the scene.
Reza reloaded his weapon and entered the building by shooting out a ground floor window and climbing inside, into a hallway. There he encountered employees desperately trying to get out of his way and began shooting again as they were trying to take cover in the foyer area, hiding behind desks, Schultz said.
It was in the foyer area that Reza encountered Rodney Noble, 58, who was trying to escape. Noble was shot once in the back but was able to make it out of the building on his own.
Reza then confronted Dixie Colvin, 58, shooting her in both legs. Other employees were able to assist her and get her out of the building, Schultz said.
Next Reza shot Malissia Mai, 54, in the leg, then left the foyer area and went deeper into the building.
"He was actually looking for something or someone," Schultz said.
Reza entered the cafeteria, where employees were trying to hide, but then left without firing any shots. He headed back to the area where he had first entered the building, but may have seen police arriving. He then killed himself with a shot to the head.
Reza fired a total of 21 shots, 13 outside the building and eight inside.
Because of the shooting, Emcore shut its facility until Thursday but said grief counseling will be available to all employees indefinitely.
At the company's news conference on Tuesday, Chief Operating Officer Chris Larocca said Reza was a former Emcore employee, having been hired in October 2006. Reza filed for family medical leave in March 2009, returned to work in June 2009 and resigned about a month later because of medical reasons, Larocca said.
Emcore will pay the salaries and benefits of the families of the victims for a year and cover their funeral arrangements, he said. The company also is establishing a memorial fund for victims at Bank of America.
"This was a domestic violence incident that unfortunately ended at our facility, impacting a great number of people. It is not a reflection of our employees or our workplace," Larocca said.
For more information, visit: www.cnn.com or www.emcore.com
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