John Robert Neumann Jr. has been identified as the disgruntled former employee who opened fire at an Orlando company Monday morning, killing five people, police say.
The 45-year-old man was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside the business, Fiamma Inc., Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said at a press conference.
Demings said the man was fired earlier this year and the incident appears to be “workplace violence.”
Police said the scene is stable. The shooting occurred about 8 a.m. at Fiamma Inc., 2427 Forsyth Road, which is in a large industrial area along with a number of other businesses.
The sheriff said four men and a woman were killed. Eight other employees who were in the building were not injured and are being interviewed by police. The five victims have been identified by police as: Robert Snyder, 69; Brenda Montanez-Crespo, 44, Kevin Clark, 53; Jeffrey Roberts, 57 and Kevin Lawson, 47.
“It’s a sad day here for us once again in Orange County,” Demings said. “Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of the victims.”
Demings said, there was “nothing to indicate shooter was going to act today. We can only ask people to notify law enforcement on any suspicious activity. This violence is frustrating. The only way we have a fighting chance is to ask the public to report any suspicious activity.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. He Used a Handgun to Kill ‘5 Innocent People’ Inside His Former Workplace Before Shooting Himself as Police Arrived
The gunman, John Neumann Jr., 45, was armed with a handgun and a large hunting knife when he “shot five innocent people,” Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings told reporters at a press conference. Demings said it is not believed that the shooter used the knife on the victims. He said the weapon was a semi-automatic and it does not appear that Neumann had a concealed weapons permit. He also possibly had smaller knives with him along with the hunting knife, but police are still processing the scene to determine those details.
The sheriff’s office received a 911 call reporting an active shooter at 8:03 a.m. Deputies were at the scene within two minutes, Demings said. The deputies found three men and a female who were deceased. A fifth victim, a man, was found alive and was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The building is “fairly large” on the interior, Demings said, about “the length of about two football fields.” At least one of the victims was found in different areas. Demings said some of the victims were shot multiple times, most in the head. According to Demings, Neumann reloaded at least once. Neumann entered from the rear door on the north side of the building. Multiple 911 calls were made.
“In situations like this, my experience tells me that this individual made a deliberate thought to do what he did today. He had a plan of action and he executed his plan today,” Demings said.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene within “just two minutes,” according to Demings. Neumann was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. It is believed he shot himself as police arrived. Three deputies entered the building as soon as they got on the scene and began providing first aid to the victims.
A woman whose sister works at Fiamma told WKMG that the shooting occurred there. She saw at least one person who had been killed.
“She kept saying, ‘my boss is dead,'” the woman, Shelley Adams, told reporters. “She is very distraught. She just kept saying, ‘I’m OK, I’m OK, my boss is dead, my boss is dead.’ She was very, very upset.”
The woman said her sister was inside the bathroom when the shooting occurred.
“We’re just going to embrace her and not leave her alone and just be there as a family,” Adams told reporters. “It’s unbelievable that it could happen in a small business.”
2. He Was Fired in Sometime in April for Unknown Reasons & Was an Army Veteran Who Lived Alone
Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said, “The individual in question is a former employee. He was fired sometime in April of this year. He was a disgruntled employee who came back here this morning.”
Police have not released the reason John Neumann was fired. Demings said he had issues related to his work that he is not going to disclose at this point. He worked for the company for several years.
The sheriff said Neumann had a negative relationship with at least one of the victims, and told another female employee to get out of the building and did not shoot her. The woman was a temporary employee and it was her first day back at work. Demings said it is believed that Neumann did not previously know her.
Demings said Neumann lived alone in the Orlando area and did not have family nearby. He was an Army veteran who was discharged honorably in 1999. Demings said police are still looking into his background. According to online records, Neumann lived in Maitland, Florida, and also lived in Winter Springs.
A neighbor told WKMG-TV she knew immediately the gunman was Neumann.
The investigation into the shooting is ongoing. Police said they are preparing a search warrant for Neumann’s home.
There is a large police presence at the area with roads and several businesses shut down in the Forsyth Road area. Forsyth is closed from University and State Road 50, the Florida Department of Transportation said.
Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) also responded.
The commercial area includes several businesses, including Gerber Collision and Glass and Restaurant Equipment World. It is also near Full Sail University.
Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs was also at the scene. Crime scene investigators could be seen going into Fiamma just before 11 a.m.
3. He ‘Allegedly Battered’ Another Employee During a 2014 Incident, but Was Not Charged & Had a ‘Minor’ Criminal Record
Neumann was involved in another incident at Fiamma Inc. in 2014, while he was still an employee there, police said.
According to Sheriff Jerry Demings, police responded to a “workplace violence” incident involving Neumann at Fiamma in 2014. Demings said Neumann “allegedly battered another employee,” but no charges were filed.
Further details about that incident were not immediately available. Demings told reporters it is not believed that the victim in that 2014 incident was one of the victims in the shooting.
Demings said the 45-year-old gunman has a “minor” criminal history, including charges like possession of marijuana, driving under the influence and misdemeanor battery. Online records show he has been arrested several times in multiple Florida counties since 1995.
He was charged with fleeing from a law enforcement (causing a high speed chase), willfully fleeing or eluding a law enforcement officer on August 21, 1995, by the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office. He was also charged in that incident with running a stop sign, driving without a seatbelt and driving with a suspended license. He pleaded guilty to all of those charges and was sentenced to probation. In 2000, he was charged with violating his probation and sentenced to nine days in jail.
In December 1999, Neumann was arrested by the Altamonte Springs Police Department in Seminole County and charged with theft, felony driving with a suspended license, giving a false name and driving without insurance or a registration. He was sentenced to 60 days in jail.
Neumann was charged with felony possession of stolen property in March 2003 by the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, along with felony possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was again charged with habitual driving with a stolen license and received a total of 378 days in jail for that incident.
His last arrest came in December 2009, when he was charged with possession of not more than 20 grams of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and leaving the scene of a crash involving damage to property by the Altamonte Springs Police Department. He was sentenced to 60 days in jail in February 2010.
4. Fiamma Is a Small Company That Makes Awnings for Recreational Vehicles
Fiamma Inc. is an Orlando-based company that makes awnings for residential vehicles and campers, according to its website:
FIAMMA is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of RV awnings for motor coaches, fifth-wheels, trailers, camper vans, and sport utility vehicles. FIAMMA awnings combine durability, corrosion resistance, and aerodynamic design. The result is a light-weight, very pleasing, and long lasting design that has made FIAMMA a top producer of awnings for over 30 years. Manufactured with hand-built craftsmanship, FIAMMA takes pride in producing products for our customers, which are easy to operate with minimal upkeep and maintenance.
It is a small company with about 10 full-time employees, Shelley Adams, whose sister works at the business, told WKMG-TV. Adams said the company also uses temporary workers.
The company is a subsidiary of Fiamma Worldwide, which is based in Italy.
“Our awnings are manufactured in our factory in Cardano al Campo, in Italy,” the business says on its Facebook page. “With a Fiamma awning you can double the living space of your RV in less than one minute and enjoy a cool and covered open space. Our awnings combine state of the art technology with original Italian Design for an elegant, durable and affordable awning.”
It has been in operation since 1991, according to state records.
5. The Shooting Comes Almost a Year After the Pulse Nightclub Attack, but There’s No Evidence Connecting the Gunman to Terror Groups
The shooting is not believed to be related to terrorism.
“We have no indication that this subject is a member of any type of subversive organization, or participant in any type of terror organization,” Sheriff Jerry Demings said. “This is likely a workplace violence incident.”
The shooting comes nearly a year after an ISIS-inspired gunman, Omar Mateen, shot and killed 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Mateen also wounded 53 people before he was fatally shot during the June 12, 2016, incident.
“Over the past year, the Orlando community has been challenged like never before. I have been briefed by our law enforcement officials on this tragic incident and Ann and I are praying for the families who lost loved ones today,” Florida Governor Rick Scott said in a statement. “I ask all Floridians to pray for the families impacted by this senseless act of violence. I will remain in contact with the Orlando law enforcement community throughout the day as more information is made available.”
It also comes days after a terror attack in London left seven people dead.
“We are all on heightened alert from the tragic incidents across the globe. We cannot connect this incident to any global terrorism,” Demings said.
Police in the United States have been on high alert since that attack, and Orlando authorities were anticipating having a higher security presence in the area in the lead-up to the anniversary of the Pulse shooting, WKMG-TV reports.