Six Shot at Louisiana Law Firm
Posted Oct 4, 2007 10:39 PM CST
By Martha Neil
Updated: Five people were shot Thursday at a law firm in downtown Alexandria, La., by a retired city employee who was reportedly killed by police shortly after midnight Friday.
One victim of the shooting at the Giordano & Giordano law firm is Joey Giordano, reports the Town Talk, a local newspaper. The other victim was identified as postal worker Marty Fields, who was delivering mail to the law firm. Three others are hospitalized.
The hospitalized victims include two attorneys, Camille Giordano and Sam Giordano, and a law firm secretary, Andrea Price, according to the newspaper and the Associated Press. Joey Giordano is Camille Giordano's son.
The alleged gunman, John C. Ashley, 63, remained holed up in the law office several blocks from the Rapides Parish Courthouse as midnight approached, after a nearly 10-hour standoff with officers from at least four different law enforcement agencies, according to the newspaper. A shooting was first reported at 2:20 p.m., it says. Intermittent gunfire, tear gas attacks by authorities and several abortive attempts by officers to enter the building occurred during the interim.
Shortly after midnight, however, authorities stormed the building and heavy gunfire followed. At 12:25 a.m. a police scanner announced that Ashley was dead, Town Talk reported.
On Thursday, "two of the victims escaped on their own and police rescued a third, but the gunman repeatedly fought off attempts to reach the others and shot at a remote-controlled police robot sent into the building," AP reported, attributing this information to police. "We've tried two or three times to enter, every time he's fired at our officers," Sgt. Clifford Gatlin told the news agency before authorities entered the building. "We have returned fire and we don't know if he's hit or not."
At 4:10 p.m., according to the newspaper, the most seriously injured surviving victim, Camille Giordano, was rescued from the building, bloodied and wearing only boxer shorts. He was reportedly hospitalized and underwent surgery, but his condition was not available. Although Sam Giordano was shot in the chest, he is in stable condition and, a family member tells Town Talk, doesn't appear to have suffered "major damage." Price, who was shot in the leg, is in fair condition.
Family and friends describe Ashley as a quiet Baptist deacon who was divorced from his first wife in 1997, according to a Town Talk profile. His daughter died this summer, and he was reportedly battling depression and could get "very agitated" because of his diabetes, a family member said.
At this point there is no reported motive for the shootings.
(Updated Oct. 5 at 11:26 a.m., CDT.)