Daniel Grant Showalter (1968-2003)
DISGRUNTLED EMPLOYEE SHOOTS THREE, THEN KILLS SELF
LOS ANGELES, California - Stunned employees of a Sherman Oaks telemarketing firm watched in disbelief as police removed the bodies of three co-workers following Friday's brutal attack by a disgruntled worker.
Yesterday's gruesome assault occurred just after 5 p.m. inside Strategic Systems Industries, Inc. Van Nuys office suite. According to eyewitness accounts, former employee Daniel Showalter entered the office and opened fire on workers before fatally shooting himself in the head. Police believe the 31-year-old gunman was upset over his recent firing. They found a pistol grip shotgun and a .38 caliber revolver by his body.
"This was clearly the desperate act of a desperate man," said Assistant Police Chief Brian Lambert.
Heidi Dorer, 36, said she and her friend were shopping near the company when the attack began. "I just heard this popping...it sounded like a bunch of firecrackers going off. Then I saw all these people running out of the building and screaming."
According to one eyewitness, Showalter "picked off" his victims as he walked through the one-story office building. "It was straight out of a movie," said another witness.
Authorities identified the victims as company manager Andrew Milne, 51; sales representative Martin Jacobs, 42; and computer analyst Matthew Hazen, 25.
Jed Thompson, who owns several buildings in the area, including the one that housed Strategic Systems, said the building has security cameras but is not staffed by security guards.
"No one ever thinks something like this is going to happen," Thompson said.
Joan Berger, a spokesperson for the nationwide company told authorities that the Sherman Oaks office will close temporarily; no reopening date is available at this time.