John Robert Neumann Jr., was fired in April from his job at a factory that manufactures awnings and accessories for recreational vehicles. He returned to the isolated industrial area on a Monday morning in June, authorities said, armed with a semi-automatic handgun and a hunting knife. According to authorities, Neumann got in through a rear door of the building, apparently looking for specific company employees. He at one point encountered a woman, pointed a gun at her and told her to get out of the building. Then he allegedly singled out other employees, shooting and killing five former colleagues. He stopped at least once to reload. Neumann shot and killed himself before authorities arrived.
Workplace violence isn’t something that only happens to other people or at other companies. It can and does happen with seemingly increased frequency. Employers must have a plan for recognizing the signs of potentially violent people, methods for preventing or pre-empting violence at work as early as possible. Finally, employers must have a plan in place for responding to violent workplace events like the one above.