1 dead, 4 critically injured in Texas shooting

Police block off an area at the Brazos County Industrial Park in Bryan, Texas, on Thursday, April 8, 2021, after a shooting at the Kent Moore Cabinets headquarters. (Photo: NYTimes)
An employee armed with a handgun opened fire at a cabinet production plant in Bryan, Texas, on Thursday, killing one person and critically injuring four others, police said.اضافة اعلان

The employee then shot a Texas state trooper who was attempting to take him into custody near Iola, Texas, about 48km northeast of Bryan, according to Lieutenant Craig Cummings, a spokesperson for the Texas Department of Public Safety.

The trooper was in serious but stable condition and was undergoing surgery Thursday evening, Cummings said.

The gunman was apprehended at about 4:20pm, two hours after the shooting, near Bedias, Texas, about 16km east of Iola, Cummings said.

The person’s name was not immediately released, but police said he was an employee of the company, Kent Moore Cabinets.

The Bryan police chief, Eric Buske, said the police were investigating what had led to the shooting and had interviewed 50 to 60 employees at Kent Moore Cabinets.

The shooting came as President Joe Biden announced a modest series of steps intended to address gun violence after deadly shootings in the Atlanta area and in Boulder, Colorado in the past month. Biden called it an “epidemic” of gun violence and urged Congress to take action by closing background check loopholes, banning assault weapons and purging lawsuit protections for gun manufacturers.

Only hours before the shooting, Governor Greg Abbott of Texas had accused Biden on Twitter of “threatening our 2nd Amendment rights” and of pushing “a new liberal power grab to take away our guns.” He advocated for legislation to make Texas a “2nd Amendment Sanctuary State.”

After the shooting, Abbott said that Texas would help prosecute the gunman. “Cecilia and I are praying for the victims and their families and for the law enforcement officer injured while apprehending the suspect,” he said.

Police said they had responded at about 2:30pm local time to a report of a shooting at 350 Stone City Drive in Bryan, where Kent Moore cabinets are manufactured, and found at least seven victims.

In addition to the one person who was killed and the four who were critically injured, a sixth person had minor injuries and a seventh had a medical-related emergency, according to Lieutenant Jason James, a spokesperson for the Bryan Police Department. All the victims were taken to local hospitals, he said.

When police arrived, James said, “it was already over with.”

Kent Moore Cabinets, founded in 1971, has nearly 600 employees across Texas as well as showrooms and sales offices in Austin, Houston, Waco, Fort Worth and other locations, according to its website.

The company was started by Kent Moore when he was a student at Texas A&M University in College Station, which borders Bryan, a city about 170km northwest of Houston that is home to about 86,000 residents.

“We are devastated by the events today at our Bryan manufacturing facility located on Stone City Drive,” Kent Moore Cabinets said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to the families and the loved ones of those affected.”

The company said that it was thankful to the law enforcement officials and emergency workers who had responded and was cooperating with investigators. “Right now, our focus is on providing support to and prayers for our employees and the extended Kent Moore Cabinets family during this tragic time,” the company said.

A worker told a KBTX-TV reporter, Rusty Surette, that someone was hitting a window with a gun and that she hid for about 10 minutes in a small space. She said she heard “boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom” and thought at first that it was a piece of equipment that sometimes malfunctions and makes “a real loud sound.”

She said someone told her “we need to run because there’s a shooting going on” when she tried to figure out which machine was broken. “I’m still in shock because I think we live in a very peaceful community,” she said. “Nothing happens ever.”