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Official: Ex-employee kills two in Baton Rouge shooting

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Ex-employee opens fire
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Victims from Walker, Louisiana, and Denham Springs, Louisiana, official says
  • Official: Worker put finger between trigger guard of gun to stop suspect from shooting more
  • Officials identify suspect as Richard Matthews, 53, of Slaughter, Louisiana
  • Suspect: "They wouldn't give me my unemployment" as he is escorted by police
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(CNN) -- A man described as a former employee shot and killed two people and seriously wounded another at a Baton Rouge, Louisiana, construction company before workers wrestled him to the ground, sheriff's officials said.

Dianna Tullier, 44, of Walker, Louisiana, and Cheryl D. Boykin, 55, of Denham Springs, Louisiana were pronounced dead at the scene, officials said. They were both clerical workers in the construction office.

The suspect, identified as Richard Matthews, 53, of Slaughter, Louisiana, parked outside Grady Crawford Construction Co. shortly before 2 p.m. and entered a building where he shot a female dispatcher, said Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Casey Rayborn Hicks.

Hicks said Matthews then went into a second company building and killed two people inside.

Matthews left the second building to reload his weapon, Hicks said. He re-entered that building, shot at and missed a fourth person, Hicks said.

Four people then wrestled Matthews to the ground. One of them, a foreman at the construction company, put his finger between Matthews' finger and the trigger guard of Matthews' gun, stopping the gunman from shooting, Hicks said.

The four people held Matthews down until police arrived.

Matthews was transported to the sheriff's office in downtown Baton Rouge, Hicks said, and was being questioned.

Hicks said police are uncertain if Matthews has prior arrests, mental health or substance abuse issues.

Matthews will be booked on two counts of first degree murder and two counts of attempted murder, Hicks said.

As he was escorted in for questioning, in response to a reporter's question about the shooting, the Matthews replied numerous times: "I couldn't get my unemployment, they wouldn't give me my unemployment."

CNN's Shawn Nottingham contributed to this report.