FLORIDA—A single armed man killed one person and shot four others in an office building in downtown Orlando, Florida, at 11:00 a.m.
The shooter, 49-year-old Jason Rodriguez, was a former employee of the firm Reynolds, Smith, and Hills, in the Gateway Center officve building. Rodriguez was terminated in 2007.
As Rodriguez was being escorted from a police car to the station, he said repeatedly, “They left me to rot.” It is unknown if this refers to an individual, the firm who fired him, or to something completely unknown at this time.
Apparently Rodriguez entered the building with a single handgun and shot people on the eighth floor of the 18-story building.
“We have five shooting victims, we have one that has chest pains, and we do have one confirmed dead,” Orlando Police Chief Val Demings said at the post-capture press conference. The four gunshot victims were in stable condition at the time of the press conference.
Rodriguez fled the building, but was captured three hours later by a SWAT team at his mother’s home. Just before 1:00 p.m., Rodriguez's mother called the plice to tell them that her son Jason Rodriguez was the shooter, and that he was in her home ans was willing to surrender.
“We received information that he may be in the area of his mother’s residence,” Chief Demings said. “We sent our swat team out there, they confirmed they were able to see him through the window and asked him to come out. He did, and was arrested without incident.”
Police arrived at the scene of the shooting within one minute of the initial 911 call, possibly limiting the death toll with their rapid response.
Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer spoke outside the Gateway Center shortly after the shooter was apprehended.
“Obviously we have a tragic incident here in the City of Orlando and first our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and to the members of their families,” said Mayor Dyer.
“This was a model response by the Orlando Police Department and their supporting law enforcement agencies and the Orlando Fire Department. The Gunman has been apprehended so the community is safe.
“This was a model of how to respond to an incident.”
Chief Demings said that the police were confident that Rodriguez acted alone.
When asked how this tragedy affected Orlando, Mayor Dyer responded, “Certainly it impacts the city and its residents, when you think that it couldn’t happen here, but it does happen here. On the bright side, the response from OPD and OFD and the law enforcement agencies to contain this and to immediately capture the bad guy … I think the citizens can be proud of the police work that’s been done here today.”
Florida Governor Charlie Crist, who was at a meeting in Tampa when the shootings occurred, came to the scene as quickly as he could. He spoke with some of the people who witnessed the shootings and praised the police department for their quick response.