Yesterday a Fresno, California factory worker shot and killed two of his co-workers and injured two others before killing himself. Lawrence Jones, a 42-year old ex-convict had been working at an area chicken processing plant for the last 14 months is believed to be the perpetrator. According to police, Jones carefully singled out his victims. According to Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer, “He had opportunity to shoot other co-workers that were in the business at the time, but he chose not to.”
Authorities have indicated Jones had an extensive criminal history. In 1994, he was sentenced to 13 years in prison for robbery and later released on parole in 2001. Jones also served time for another robbery conviction and later for vehicle theft. He was paroled on June 1, 2011 and discharged from parole in May of 2012.
Jones arrived for his shift shortly before 5 am, three and-a-half hours before he went on his rampage. Jones killed 32-year-old Salvador Diaz in the grinding room “execution style”, and then moving to the deboning room where placed his gun at the head of 34-year-old Manuel Verdin and pulled the trigger (Verdin was pronounced dead at the hospital).
Jones then shot Arnulfo Conrriguez 28, at closed range in the neck. Conrriguez is currently in serious condition at Fresno’s Community Regional Medical Center. The fourth victim, 32-year-old Fatima Lopez observed the slayings and while running for cover, was shot by Jones in the buttocks. Lopez was treated and released from Fresno’s Community Regional Hospital.
I would venture to guess that a background check probably wasn’t conducted on Lawrence Jones. If it had been, the factory that employed him would have been made aware of his past criminal activity and could have made a well-informed hiring decision. Instead two people are dead and two others injured due to the reckless behavior of Lawrence Jones and the failure of his employer to properly screen.