Shooting at US city building that left 2 dead, 2 injured was 'workplace violence'

Winston-Salem Police Chief Catrina Thompson delivers a press briefing on the shooting. PHOTO: TWITTER

WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina (AP) - A deadly shooting at a city building in Winston-Salem, North Carolina was an act of "workplace violence," the city's police chief said on Friday (Dec 20).

Winston-Salem Police Chief Catrina Thompson told news reporters the gunman at a city building was killed during a gunfight with police officers who responded to the scene.

One officer was wounded.

She said the gunman was a 60-year-old city employee who shot and killed another employee whom he had targeted.

Another city employee and a police officer were also wounded.

Police Captain Steven Tolley said the slain employee and the gunman had a "longstanding dislike for each other," but he couldn't elaborate on the source of their disagreements.

Tolley said the two men had been involved in a physical altercation on Thursday that wasn't reported at the time to their superiors.

Another city employee who was wounded wasn't targeted and was "collateral damage," Tolley said.

Tolley said the gunman brought multiple firearms to the shooting on Friday.

Winston-Salem city spokesman Ed McNeal said: "There is no ongoing threat."

Sanitation worker Dwight Black, 66, was running five minutes late when he parked his car at the facility.

He said he was about to swipe his card to enter the building when people ran past him.

"They're shooting. Run!"Black said, of the people leaving the building.

"Fight or flight. I just followed suit."

"I didn't know what was happening so I just kind of got out of the way until I could ascertain what was going on," he added.

Black ran back to his car and said other people did the same and drove off. He said he just stood back and watched until police arrived.

Black said he was "kind of numb" after the shooting.

"Everybody was devastated," he said. "Tough day."

Numerous police cars were on the scene in the late morning. Workers in the reflective gear worn by city sanitation workers were seen standing in a parking lot talking to each other. The scene outside the building appeared calm.

Herbert Martinez told local news outlets a coworker at the site ran out and told him someone was shooting inside the building east of downtown in the city about 245,000 people in the central part of the state.

Martinez said he stayed in his truck and heard gunshots. He said he and the coworker ran and hid in a ditch, where they heard more gunshots.

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