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Conn. Workplace Shootings Leave At Least 9 Dead

Aug 3, 2010

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Frank James

At least nine people were reported dead, including the gunman, the result of a Tuesday morning workplace shooting at a beer and wine distributorship in Manchester, Conn. that's being blamed on a recently hired truck driver who was regarded as a "disciplinary" problem.

The shootings took place at Hartford Distributors, a family owned business. The alleged shooter was Omar Thornton, a 34-year old. The shootings occurred the same morning a meeting was set that would involve Thornton, union and management officials, according to reports.

The victims were shot by a .223 caliber rifle which the gunman turned on himself as police approached the facility, according to reports.

The Hartford Courant reports that the Thornton, who was black, had complained of racial harassment at the facility.

More from the Courant:

Steve Hollander, a member of the family that founded and owns the company, is one of the wounded, a police source said. He was shot in the neck, the source said.

Another shooting victim was identified as Bryan Cirigliano, 51, of Newington, by a man at Hartford Hospital who said he was Cirigliano's brother. Bryan Cirigliano is the president of the Teamsters Local 1035 that represents drivers at Hartford Distributors.

Another victim was identified as Victor James, who died at Hartford Hospital, officials said...

... Hartford Distributors was founded by Jules Hollander, the father of the current president, Ross Hollander, and grandfather of Brett, the marketing chief, and Steve, who was reported to have been shot. The company was located on Tolland Street in East Hartford for many years before moving to Manchester about 15 years ago, said U.S. Rep. John B. Larson.

Last year, the company bought a rival, Franklin Distributors of South Windsor.

Larson, of East Hartford, who is close to the Hollanders and some of the union officials, visited the company in mid-morning after the shootings.

"The Hollander family is probably one of the most venerated families in the Hartford area in the Jewish community," Larson said. "There isn't a charity that they haven't contributed."

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