In a heart-wrenching story out of Goleta, California, eight people are dead after a shooting rampage by a former postal worker who was said to be racist.
TO THE ORIGINAL STORY
Shooting toll rises to 8 amid reports of racism by former postal worker
By TIM MOLLOY
GOLETA, Calif. - A woman wounded in a rampage by a former postal worker died Wednesday, and investigators said the assailant also killed a former neighbor just before the attack, bringing the death toll to eight, including the shooter.
A former postal worker said the attacker had spewed racist comments in the past, and six of the victims were members of minority groups, but investigators have refused to discuss a motive in the slayings.
The eighth victim, Beverly Graham, 54, was found Tuesday at a Santa Barbara condominium complex where Jennifer San Marco, a former postal employee, had lived until a few years ago.
Sheriff's Sgt. Erik Raney said authorities believed the death of Graham, who was shot in the head, was "the beginning of this rampage."
Investigators matched several 9mm shell casings found at Graham's condo to casings from the postal distribution center.
A neighbor of Graham's reported hearing a gunshot Monday evening, before San Marco went to the mail-processing center.
San Marco shot six postal employees to death and committed suicide in what was believed to be the nation's deadliest workplace shooting by a woman. It was also the nation's bloodiest shooting at a postal facility in nearly 20 years.
Charlotte Colton, 44, a postal worker who was shot in the head, died of her wounds Wednesday, said Teresa Rounds, spokeswoman for Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.
Former plant worker Jeff Tabala recalled that San Marco, who was white, seemed particularly hostile to Asians while working for the Postal Service.
He said all of the slain postal workers were members of minority groups: Three were black, one was Chinese-American, one was Hispanic, and one was Filipino. Authorities said Graham was white.
Investigators gave no motive for the postal rampage but said San Marco had been put on medical leave in 2003 for psychological reasons and deputies had removed her from the building at least once.
Santa Barbara County Sheriff Jim Anderson said officers took San Marco away from the postal center Feb. 5, 2001, because "she was acting irrational." She was held for three days at a psychiatric hospital, but the sheriff did not know if any diagnosis was made.
After leaving her postal job, San Marco moved to New Mexico in late 2003 or early 2004 and lived in an isolated desert home. A deputy clerk for the city of Milan, N.M., said she once applied for a business license for a publication called "The Racist Press" but did not qualify.
Authorities in New Mexico also described San Marco's increasingly bizarre behavior after she lost her job.