Idrisa Camara, 53, a security guard at the Varick Street federal building in Manhattan, was one hour into his overtime shift, when a gunman approached and shot him point-blank in the head before turning the gun on himself, the New York Daily News reports.
Kevin Downing, 68, a retired U.S. Army Reserves captain was allegedly “outraged that he was fired by the Department of Labor Statistics for supposedly blowing the whistle on what he called disclosing inexcusable public waste.”
Camara, a father of four who had just lost his father three months ago, was scheduled to leave work at 4.p.m., according to officials.
“It looks like [Downing] would shoot whoever was standing there,” a source told the Daily News. “Somebody had just gone through the checkpoint and was gathering his stuff. The guard turns to greet [Downing] and he shoots. There doesn’t appear to be any interaction between the two.”
Downing was armed with two .38 caliber revolvers.
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NYPD Chief of Department James O’Neill said Downing coldly walked past the fatally wounded man after opening fire.
“He proceeded through the security area and headed towards the elevator, where he encountered another employee,” O’Neill said. “At this point, the suspect shot himself in the head.”
Within a few moments federal agents and cops from the nearby 1st Precinct station house swarmed the federal building.
They immediately put the address on lockdown, according to horrified office workers, who had no idea what was going on.
“I opened the window and heard someone yell ‘run’ and I saw two cops with their guns drawn, clearing out the area,” said Maria Foy, 44, a legal assistant on the seventh floor, recalling the panicked moments that followed. “(Police) came over the PA system and said ‘Seek shelter, there’s been an incident. Wait for further instructions.’
Camara worked for FJC Security Services and was represented by Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ, reports CBS News.
“We are shocked and horrified at this terrible news and send our deepest condolences to Protective Officer Camara’s family. Security officers around the city and country serve on the front line each and every day to keep us safe and secure. We are heartbroken that one of our own has fallen,” the union said in a statement. “We hope some of our questions in the face of this terrible tragedy will be answered. For now, we are keeping Officer Camara’s family and loved ones in our thoughts and prayers.”