US

Police Identify Victims, Shooter in Ford Killings

By The Associated Press

MORGAN HILL, Calif.—Police have released the names of three people killed in a shooting at a Northern California car dealership, including the gunman.

Morgan Hill police say 60-year-old Steven Leet of San Jose had been fired less than two hours before he took a gun from his car Tuesday evening and shot his boss in the Ford Store parts department.

Police say Leet killed 38-year-old Xavier Souto of San Jose in an office and then killed another manager, 59-year-old Brian Light of San Jose.

Police say Light was shot as he tried to disarm the gunman, but his efforts gave employees and customers precious moments to flee.

After the killings, Leet went outside and killed himself.

Police called to the Ford Store Morgan Hill Tuesday evening found a man dead of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot on the ground near the store’s service bays.

“In his hand was a firearm, a handgun,” police Sgt. Bill Norman told reporters in Morgan Hill, near San Jose in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Employees directed officers inside a building where they found two other men who had been shot and killed at the scene.

Doug MacGlashan, who was working in the parts department, told KRON-TV that the gunman had just been fired from his job.

Police investigate scene of shooting
Police investigate at the scene of a shooting at the Morgan Hill Ford Store in Morgan Hill, Calif., on June 25, 2019. (Nic Coury/AP Photo)

The service and parts director “had just fired a parts rep that he had said he was going to fire earlier in the day. And I guess the parts rep went outside, got a gun, went into the service and parts director’s office and shot him,” MacGlashan said.

The man also killed the parts manager, he said.

Video and photos showed police cars from several agencies swarming the dealership and employees hugging each other as they left the property.

Accidental Shootings

Far fewer Americans fall victim to firearm accidents than some two decades ago, even though people own more guns, according to new data.

Accidental firearm discharges killed 486 people in 2017, down more than 50 percent since 1997, according to mortality data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Decreased popularity of hunting, improved trauma care, and gun safety education campaigns have likely helped decreased the fatalities.

Shooting in Ford Store Morgan Hill 1
Police investigate at the scene of a shooting at the Morgan Hill Ford Store in Morgan Hill, Calif., on June 25, 2019. (Nic Coury/Photo via AP)

Gun Ownership

There have been reports that far fewer households now own a gun—31 percent in 2014 compared to over 47 percent in 1980, according to surveys by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago (pdf).

Yet several other polls contradict the NORC numbers. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal Survey revealed 47 percent of households with a gun on the premises in March 2018 (pdf). Gallup reported 46 percent with a gun on premises in October.

NTD  staff contributed to this report.