Fired Worker Returns to California Ford Dealership, Shoots 2 Colleagues Dead

June 27, 2019 Updated: June 27, 2019

A recently fired employee returned to his former workplace at a Northern California Ford dealership and opened fire on two managers on June 25.

The Morgan Hill Police Department confirmed that shortly after the parts representative was fired he came back with a handgun and shot dead two of his supervisors in the service and parts director’s office before killing himself at the Ford Store Morgan Hill, 76 miles south of San Francisco.

Police found the gunman’s lifeless body after the incident in the north end of the service building. He was identified as 60-year-old Steven Leet from San Jose.

“As they approached they located a male,” Police Sargent Bill Norman told the Associated Press (AP). “He was down on the ground, he had gunshot wounds and was deceased. In his hand was a firearm, handgun.”

Officers later found the bodies of the parts manager, Xavier Souto, 38, of San Jose, and service director, Brian Light, 59, also of San Jose.

“They secured the scene and they were directed by other employees inside the building where two additional males were located and later pronounced dead from gunshot wounds,” Norman said.

Norman said there were no other suspects in the incident, and police are moving forward with the investigation.

A witness who works for the dealership confirmed the gunman was his former colleague, and the victims were the same supervisors who dismissed him.

“He was apparently fired today or someone from the dealership was fired today and came back and just shot the manager who would have obviously fired him,” Ford Store Morgan Hill Employee Jordan Valdez told AP.

Valdez was standing outside the service department at the time of the shooting.

“One of the service advisers had opened up the door to go back inside the shop,” he said. “He turned around, looked at us and he said, ‘Run, there’s a shooter!’”

He fled from the scene and hid in a nearby field. He still cannot understand how the situation could have escalated so quickly.

“Nobody really hated each other, which is why I’m really surprised this happened,” he said. “I didn’t see anything like this coming.”

Parts Department Employee Doug MacGlashan also confirmed the victims used to supervise the attacker.

“[The service and parts director] had just fired a parts rep that he had said he was going to fire earlier in the day,” he said according to AP. “I guess the parts rep went outside, got a gun, went into the service and parts director’s office, and shot him.”

Nearby witnesses to the tragedy also found it hard to believe the shooting had really happened.

“I was just driving by and heard and just saw the cops and was like something serious is going on,” local resident Eric Sjoden told AP. “Especially for Morgan Hill, it is a small town, this stuff just does not happen.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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