Shooting rampage in Orlando, Florida leaves one dead, seven injured

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Friday, November 6, 2009

Location of Orlando within Florida

At least one person was killed after a shooting rampage at the Gateway Center office building in Orlando, Florida, at around 11.30 EST (16.30 UTC), according to authorities.

The gunman, who has been identified as Jason Rodriguez, aged 40, surrendered at his mother's house, after police received reports that he had fled there. He is now in custody. He was described as wearing a light blue polo shirt and jeans. The building where the incident occurred was locked down, and police officers evacuated the building.

A resident living near the house where Rodriguez was arrested witnessed the police confront the gunman. "I just heard screaming. They [the police] said, Come out with your hands in the air. He didn't resist," he said, as quoted by the Los Angeles Times.

Barbara Jones said that Rodriguez used to work at the building. "I would consider him armed and dangerous," she said, as quoted by the Press Association news agency.

"This is a tragedy no doubt about it, especially on the heels of the tragedy in Fort Hood that is on our minds," said local police chief Val Demings. "I'm just glad we don't have any more fatalities or any more injuries than we currently have."

"We understand the shootings did take place in our office," said Ken Jacobson, a spokesperson for the company owning the building, Reynolds, Smith & Hill. "People were shot in our offices."

Some office workers reportedly barricaded themselves in their offices following the incident, fearing the gunman to be nearby. "We've got everybody in one office, with the door barricaded with a chest of drawers. There are about 20 of us in here. We're scared," said one woman, as quoted by the Los Angeles Times. "We're watching TV, trying to see what is going on, but we really don't know. We're scared. We're safe right now, but we're scared."

Several police cars, ambulances, and other emergency vehicles were dispatched to the scene. According to the ABC news network, agents from the FBI were also sent, and police officials said that SWAT teams also were on the scene. Traffic near the building was diverted, and there is a heavy police presence.