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Workplace shooting stuns IL

Six people were killed by gunfire in a Chicago auto parts warehouse Tuesday morning, after a man described as a disgruntled employee opened fire with a semiautomatic pistol.

BY TRAVIS DUNN | CHICAGO, Ill. | August 28, 2003

Six people were killed by gunfire in a Chicago auto parts warehouse Wednesday morning, after a man described as a disgruntled former employee opened fire with a semiautomatic pistol, according to David Bayless, spokesman for the Chicago Police Department. The shooter, 36-year-old Salvador Tapia, was later killed in a shoot-out with police.

The shooting began at 8:37 a.m. Wednesday at Windy City Core Supply Inc., and the entire incident about an hour. By 10 a.m., four employees as well as Tapia were pronounced dead at the scene. Two other employees died at the hospital, Bayless said.

According to the Associated Press, one employee, Eduardo Sanchez, survived the mass-killing. Sanchez said that Tapia tied him up prior to killing the other employees.

''Do you want me to tie you up, or do you want to die?'' Tapia reportedly asked him.

Tapia had been fired from the company six months prior to Wednesday's shooting spree, Bayless said. Tapia had a long rap sheet, which included "numerous arrests for domestic battery, weapons, theft and driving offenses."

As a convicted felon, Tapia could not legally possess a firearm, and questions were raised Wednesday about how Tapia obtained the weapon. Forensics experts determined that the gun used in the shooting, a Walther PPK, was sold to a suburban Chicago gun dealer in 1966, and legally registered (not by Tapia) with the City of Chicago in 1983, Bayless reported Thursday. How the gun got into Tapia's hands was not known.

"The men and women of the Chicago Police Department performed remarkably this morning under very difficult and dangerous circumstances," said Philip Cane, acting superintendent of the CPD. "If it were not for their bravery and courage under fire, this tragedy could have been far worse."

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