Fired City Worker Kills Five, Then Himself
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) _ More than a year after being fired and vowing revenge, a one-time member of the city’s beach cleanup detail came back with two guns and shot five former co-workers to death Friday, then killed himself.
Clifton McCree, 41, barged into the small blue-and-white municipal trailer where he had once worked and announced, ``Everyone is going to die,″ said police Capt. James Hurley. He then opened fire with a 9mm pistol, pausing once to reload.
Exactly 14 months earlier, McCree had been fired for flunking a drug test, harassing and threatening co-workers and being rude to the public, Maj. Al Ortenzo said. McCree had been on the job for 18 years.
``He made threats to come back and do things,″ an employee identified only as Doug recalled in an interview with WPLG-TV.
The attack took place at 5 a.m. at a building set back a few yards from the palm-fringed Intracoastal Waterway, which separates Fort Lauderdale Beach from the mainland.
Five parks workers were killed, a sixth was critically wounded and a seventh worker escaped and called 911.
McCree shot the workers as they sat at a conference table to receive their daily assignments picking up litter from beaches and parks.
He fired at least 12 shots, never touching a pistol in a shoulder holster under his jacket, before he turned the gun on himself. All the victims were shot more than once.
Killed at the scene were Joseph Timothy Clifford, 37; Joseph Belotto, 40; Kenneth A. Brunjes, 46; and Mark A. Bretz, 36. Donald Leroy Moon Jr., 44, died at a hospital. Joseph L. Brookins, 43, was in critical condition.
Mark Monti said he saw the victims every day at the convenience store where he works, Beach Express, across Las Olas Boulevard from the trailer.
``We were constantly busting each other up and laughing,″ Monti said. ``They bought lottery tickets and soda and candy. It’s just devastating, totally devastating.″
Belinda Wilson, a neighbor of McCree’s in Fort Lauderdale, said she used to see him washing his car or mowing the lawn, but never spoke with him. He lived with his wife and three children _ two boys and a girl.
``No disturbing anything at all,″ she said. ``You get a funny feeling that you lived right next to him.″