http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/wor...-1225900822835UPDATE 7.53am: A GUNMAN who killed eight people and himself at a family-owned beer and wine wholesaler in the US had been given the opportunity to either resign or be sacked before his rampage.
Omar S Thornton, 34, reportedly entered Hartford Distributors and fired at 10 employees with a hand gun before turning the gun on himself, Manchester Police Chief Marc Montminy said.
He was being escorted from the building when the shooting started, police said.
The Manchester Police Department confirmed nine people died in the shootings, and two were injured.
Mr Thornton was still alive when police arrived on the scene, Mr Montminy told reporters.
Mr Thornton, who is black, had complained about being racially harassed at work, the Hartford Courant reported, citing a woman whose daughter dated Thornton for eight years.
Joanne Hannah said her daughter told her that Mr Thornton complained about the treatment to his superiors, but they did nothing about it.
Ms Hannah said her daughter spoke to Mr Thornton’s mother, who said her son called her yesterday.
Ms Hannah said Mr Thornton told his mother he had shot people, that he loved her and his girlfriend and that he was sorry.
Ms Hannah described Mr Thornton as “the most mellowest, peaceful person” and said she and her daughter were shocked by the news of the shooting.
According to John Hollis, a Teamsters union official, Mr Thornton was a driver at the company who was hired approximately one year ago and was expected to face a disciplinary hearing yesterday.
Meanwhile, police disputed reports that authorities entered Hartford Distributors “with guns blazing".
Lt Joe San Antonio said police did not discharge their weapons when they responded to reports of the shooting.
He said police found the suspected gunman shot in a search of the building.
Earlier yesterday, Brett Hollander, the company’s director of marketing, told the Hartford Courant that when police entered the building where the shooter was located, “They just went in there with guns blazing.”
Mr Hollander said approximately 35 or 40 people were in the company’s office and warehouse when the shooting began shortly before 7:30am local time.