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June 23, 2017

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Minneapolis office gunman fired before killing 5 ex-coworkers, self

MINNEAPOLIS -- A man fired from his job at a sign-making business pulled out a handgun and began shooting up its offices, fatally wounding the owner and four others before turning the gun on himself, police said Friday.

Andrew Engeldinger, 36, injured at least three others in the Thursday attack at Accent Signage Systems, which Police Chief Tim Dolan said lasted no more than 15 minutes. Dolan also said Engeldinger may have chosen to spare some former co-workers.

"It's clear he did walk by some people, very clear," Dolan said.

Engeldinger's family said in a statement issued through the National Alliance on Mental Illness later Friday that he had struggled with mental illness for years. They offered sympathy to the victims.

"This is not an excuse for his actions, but sadly, may be a partial explanation," the statement said.

No details were released about why Engeldinger was fired, but police said he had ongoing problems at work. Investigators who searched his home Thursday night found a second gun and packaging for 10,000 rounds of ammunition in the house. In the shooting, Engeldinger used a 9mm Glock semi-automatic pistol he had owned for about a year, Dolan said.

"He's obviously been practicing in how to use that gun," Dolan said.

Among those killed was Accent Signage System owner Reuven Rahamim, 61, employee Jacob Beneke, 34; and Keith Basinski, 50, a UPS driver who had made deliveries and pickups at the business for years.

Relatives described Rahamim, who emigrated from Israel and spent three decades building his business after starting it in his basement, as a passionate cook and devoted to his family. Beneke was an avid sculpture artist and painter who worked as a digital imaging manager, and Basinski was a Wisconsin who Dolan said "just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time."

The other two men killed were identified as Rami Cooks, 62, and Ronald Edberg, 58. Two other people remained at the hospital, one in serious condition and one critical condition. Four of the five men killed suffered multiple gunshot wounds.

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