Gunman at large after deadly Calif quarry shooting
Authorities went door to door with guns drawn Wednesday in search of a disgruntled employee they say opened fire at a Northern California limestone quarry, killing two and wounding six, before possibly wounding another woman in an attempted carjacking.
Schools were on lockdown or closed in the Silicon Valley city of Cupertino as SWAT teams sought Shareef Allman, 47.
Allman was at a routine safety meeting at the quarry at about 4:30 a.m. when he became disgruntled and left, Santa Clara County Sheriff's Lt. Rick Sung said. He then returned with a handgun and rifle and started shooting people, Sung said.
Authorities were still searching the quarry for possible victims. About 15 workers were evacuated and being kept at a safe location.
"He is armed and dangerous and on the loose," sheriff's spokesman Jose Cardoza said.
Around 7 a.m., authorities received a 911 call that a woman was shot in an attempted carjacking near Hewlett-Packard Co.'s Cupertino campus by a man matching Allman's description. The shooter then fled on foot.
He used a weapon similar to the gun used in the quarry shooting, Cardoza said.
Allman was a truck operator at the Permanente Quarry and also produced and hosted a public access television show.
Three of the victims were taken to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, including the woman shot in the carjacking, hospital spokeswoman Joy Alexiou said. One victim was treated and released, while the other two were in fair condition, she said. Their names were not immediately released.
Another victim was taken to the emergency room at Stanford University Medical Center in Palo Alto, but the hospital could release no other details, spokeswoman Paula Zimlicki said.
Sheriff's deputies cordoned off a wide area and were checking the trunks of cars coming down the road leading up to the quarry. Family members of workers and possible victims gathered anxiously along the police tape awaiting news of their loved ones.
One of them, a woman who asked to remain anonymous because the gunman was still at large, said her father worked at the quarry for about 10 years and was the lead employee on the night shift.
She said he called his family around 4:30 a.m. to say something was happening and not to pick him up. He called again just after 6 a.m. to say he was OK but was hiding. They were reunited around 10 a.m.
"It was so hard not knowing what was happening," the woman said.
In addition to working at the quarry, Allman has produced and hosted a public access television show for CreaTV in San Jose.
He was one of 130 series producers who came in once a month and provided the public access station with content, said Suzanne St. John-Crane, executive director of CreaTV. She said she had spoken with him numerous times but did not know him well.
"Based on what we know now, we're shocked and devastated and feel for the families of the victims," St. John-Crane told The Associated Press. "But he didn't work here. I want to make that clear. We're very frightened."
The Permanente Quarry is a limestone and aggregate mining operation and cement plant owned by Lehigh Southwest Cement. The company did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
The quarry was issued its first permit in May 1939, according to Santa Clara County documents.
The site has been subject to a number of environmental violations over the years, and has been subject to noise and other complaints from residents who live nearby.
Lehigh Southwest Cement Co. makes about 1.2 million tons of cement per year, and its products are involved in a number of major construction projects including the seismic upgrades to the Golden Gate Bridge.