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US: Two killed, three injured after disgruntled worker opens fire at linen company near Philadelphia

Earlier statements indicate that the shooter, whose identity has not been disclosed, is a former employee at the linen company. The suspect reportedly attempted to flee in a vehicle but was eventually caught at a traffic stop.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Philadelphia Published on: May 23, 2024 7:00 IST
US shooting, philadelphia
Image Source : AP Police tape cordons off the scene of a fatal shooting at the linen company near Philadelphia

Philadelphia: A disgruntled worker opened fire at a linen company near Philadelphia on Wednesday, killing two and injuring three others, according to authorities. The shooting took place at the Delaware County Linen at about 8:30 am in the city of Chester, about 18 miles (29 km) south of Philadelphia and the shooter was arrested.

The suspect reportedly tried to flee in a vehicle but was nabbed in a traffic stop, Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer said. The shooter’s name has not been released, and the specific motive remains unknown. Earlier statements said he was a former employee.

“It speaks to guns in America,” said Chester Mayor Stefan Roots, who said his small city has enjoyed a period of relative calm in recent years, with violent crime on the decline. “Violence is always unpredictable. We don’t know what conditions people are under, in a city that’s impoverished like ours.”

Roots called on state lawmakers in Pennsylvania to address the gun crisis, especially as it relates to people with mental health problems. "We can’t have guns in the hands of the wrong people. There had to be some type of mental health issue that would have an employee walk into his workplace on a day of work and take out his anger in such a violent way — to not just the boss, but his coworkers, who he probably worked side-by-side with for years," he added.

Meanwhile, three people have been admitted to the hospital for treatment, with one in critical condition, according to police. The business had been in the community for more than 30 years, and some workers lived near enough to walk to work each day, residents said. Some of the workers on hand when the gunman opened fire gathered on the steps of a church across the street, behind barriers erected by police.

“It’s always quiet around here. We don’t have too many issues, so this is surprising,” said Doneshia Johnson, who lives next door to the linen company and was standing outside with her 1-year-old grandson. She said she was out at the time of the shooting. “You never know. It’s why you got to wake up, say your prayers, and just hope that you make it home safely each day,” Johnson said.

Gun culture has been an issue of hot debate in the United States due to its impact on children and teenagers, particularly so when school shootings in America are notoriously high as people have easy access to weapons. A recent report by Pew Research Institute showed that the number of children and teens killed by gunfire has increased 50 per cent between 2019 and 2021.

(AP)

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