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Angry worker kills two co-workers, wounds four; kills himself

June 6, 1997

SANTA FE SPRINGS, Calif. (AP) _ Co-workers at the Omni Plastics plant describe Daniel S. Marsden as a strange man who was easily provoked to anger.

During his lunch hour, the 38-year-old man would sit in his car, staring into space. He did the same thing after work, sitting for hours on some days. In the plant, seemingly innocuous conversations like calling him ``Danny″ instead of Dan prompted angry outbursts, co-workers said.

``He was weird,″ said Alfred Garcia, 28.

So it wasn’t too surprising when Marsden stalked out of the plant after arguing with a colleague Thursday.

But Marsden returned with a gun. He fired without warning in a shooting spree that left two employees dead and four others wounded. Marsden then drove to Los Angeles, stopped at an intersection and turned his 9mm semiautomatic on himself.

``He didn’t look like he was shooting at any particular person, he just began firing,″ said Cindy Mora, a 35-year-old payroll worker who hid under her desk as the shots rang out.

``It was just mass hysteria. Everyone was screaming, `Get down! Get out of the way,‴ she said.

The rampage began with an argument with a co-worker in a computer terminal area, police said.

The argument was a misunderstanding, said Joe Plourde, vice president and general manager.

``It was something we would take as routine. He apparently interpreted it as if everybody were talking behind his back,″ he said.

Marsden shot a woman as she sat in a chair, then shot a man standing nearby. Moving into a conference room, he shot three others and then chased and shot a man who tried to run away. Fifteen or 16 shots were fired.

``This doesn’t make sense,″ Plourde said. ``The people he was shooting at were people you would think of as his friends.″

Hamad Wardak, 39, of Los Angeles died on the scene and Salvador Lara, 57, died later at a hospital. Three men and a woman with bullet wounds were hospitalized in good to critical condition.

Omni Plastics employs a total 150 workers, including 75 at the Santa Fe Springs plant southeast of downtown Los Angeles.

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