2 dead, 3 hurt after workplace shooting in Roanoke

ROANOKE, Va. (WRIC/AP/WSLS) — Police in Roanoke say a refugee from Kenya killed one former co-worker and wounded three others at a railcar manufacturing company.

Roanoke Police Chief Tim Jones said Tuesday that 53-year-old Getachew Fekede stopped showing up to work at FreightCar America in March. After he missed three days of work, police say he was terminated. Police also said that there was no previous contact with him at FreightCar America until he rode a bicycle to his former workplace early Tuesday morning and somehow entered the facility’s paint shop.

Jones said Fekede fired 10 rounds from a 9 mm handgun. One person died and two others suffered wounds to their “lower extremities.” A bullet grazed a third person’s chest. Jones said Fekede then killed himself.

Photo courtesy WSLS


Jones said Fekede entered the U.S. in 2011 through a refugee immigration program. He said the shooting appears to be work-related but the possibility of terrorism will be investigated.

While he worked at FreightCar America, all indications were that he was a hard worker, so there’s no true indication as to what led to the shooting, according to police.

FreightCar America released the following statement regarding the tragic incident:

FreightCar America extends its deepest condolences to everyone affected by the tragic events that occurred at our Roanoke facility earlier this morning. We are working closely with federal, state, and local law enforcement to determine what happened and ensure that our employees are safe. Due to the ongoing nature of this investigation, and out of respect for our employees and their families, we cannot provide specific information about the victims at this time.”

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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