At approximately 5:45am this morning, an active shooter opened fire at a FedEx facility in Kennesaw, GA, injuring six people. When police arrived on the scene, they locked down the building and evacuated the remaining personnel. They later found the unidentified, male suspect dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the loading bay of the building. All of the victims suffered multiple gunshot wounds, and the injuries range from minor to critical. According to a hospital official, the injuries are consistent with “shotgun blast effects, with multiple, small projectiles.” Although the shooter has yet to be named, he has been identified as a package handler at the facility.
• Several sources are reporting the gunman was also armed with knife, which he may have dropped before he started firing.
• The suspect was dressed in black combat gear and a camouflage vest. This type of attire has emerged as a trend in active shooter situations.
• A fellow employee claims she had an altercation with the gunman last week, after he repeatedly aimed a laser scanner at her eyes. She later reported the incident to a manager, but it is unclear whether the conflict was related to today’s shooting.
MSA's Research and Intelligence Analysis (RIA) Group has been monitoring this situation closely and has identified the following implications:
Today’s incident was likely a case of workplace violence; however, the specific motive for the shooting remains under investigation.
If witness statements are correct, the shooter was recently disciplined, which may indicate that he had issues with colleagues or company management.
While it is unclear if he suffered from mental illness, the earlier conflict may have been a behavioral indicator that the suspect could become violent.
According to police, there is a security checkpoint at the FedEx facility, but is unclear whether the suspect was able to pass through or if he started shooting before the checkpoint.
In other recent cases, such as the Navy Yard shooting, gunmen were able to smuggle firearms through security without detection by concealing the weapon in a bag and reassembling it in another area of the building.
Given that the suspect was an employee at the company, he also may have been familiar with security procedures and staff, making it easier to breach the checkpoint.
In cases of workplace violence, the perpetrator typically has easy access to their target and an understanding of security protocol at the facility. As a result, it is particularly difficult to detect and prevent this type of active shooter situation. The best way to combat the threat remains the presence of armed guards and a well-rehearsed, comprehensive security plan. Additionally, monitoring past behavioral issues and conflicts with co-workers can provide insight into an individual’s propensity for violence.
MSA Security's Research and Intelligence Analysis Group provides real-time intelligence on events and worldwide threats as they evolve.