Florida gunman had threatened to return to kill co-workers

February 9, 1996
Web posted at: 2:55 p.m. EST

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida (CNN) -- A man who had been dismissed from a city job opened fire on former co-workers early Friday, killing five and wounding another before shooting himself to death, police and witnesses said.

Clifton McCree, 41, was fired from a beach maintenance crew on December 9, 1994, said Police Major Al Ortenzo. Ortenzo said that McCree was fired after he tested positive for illegal drug use and made "threatening and harassing" remarks to co- workers.

McCree, armed with a .32 caliber revolver and a .9 millimeter semi-automatic handgun, returned to a small trailer where municipal workers had gathered at about 5 a.m. to prepare for their day's shifts.

"He made a couple of statements as he walked into the trailer," Police Capt. Jim Hurley said. "One of the statements was 'everyone is going to die,' and with that he began shooting people."

Police were alerted to the scene by a city employee who escaped out the back door of the trailer when McCree entered. Local media reports say that another employee was shot twice and is in serious condition at a hospital, but escaped death by pretending to be dead during the shooting.

Co-workers told CNN that McCree had threatened to return and "kill everybody" when he was fired. One fellow employee said that McCree "thought everybody was out to get him." (96K AIFF sound or 96K WAV sound)

Several bodies remained inside the small blue-and-white building, set back from the intracoastal waterway. Investigators were conducting interviews.

Ortenzo said the site of the shootings is used by several city departments. Investigators weren't immediately sure if any non-employees were among the people shot.

Ortenzo declined to release names or departments of the victims, pending notification of relatives.



The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this story.

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