SAN FRANCISCO — The day after UPS driver Michael Lefiti was gunned down in a deadly workplace shooting, a makeshift memorial of flowers, plants, teddy bears and balloons had cropped up along his daily delivery route in San Francisco’s Diamond
Lefiti, 46, of Hercules, known as “Big Mike,” was among three UPS staffers killed Wednesday morning after police said suspect Jimmy Lam, 38, opened fire and then shot and killed himself. San Francisco residents Wayne Chan, 56, and Benson Louie, 50, also died. Two others were also injured from the gun shots, and five others suffered minor injuries trying to get out of the building during the panic.
Lefiti worked at the UPS warehouse and customer service center in San Francisco, near 17th Street and San Bruno Avenue in the Potrero Hill neighborhood.
He was a father of five who worked for UPS for 17 years, as did Louie, while Chan had 28 years of service, according to UPS spokeswoman Susan Rosenberg.
“None of us has words to explain why a person of such kindness and warmth could have been targeted in this way,” read a message at the Diamond Heights shopping center memorial, with photos of Lefiti. “Big Mike was large in size. But his laughter, concern for others and dedication to those he loved were all much, much larger. Larger than life. And unforgettable.” People gather at the Diamond Heights shopping center in San Francisco to mourn their UPS man, “Big” Mike Lefiti, who was one of the victims in the gun rampage at the United Parcel Service building in San Francisco, California, Wednesday, June 14, 2017. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)
Nelson Barry, who owns a law office on Lefiti’s delivery route in the Diamond Heights neighborhood, said the memorial for the beloved UPS driver started because Lefiti was such a beloved figure among his customers.
“He was always upbeat and never, ever complained about anything,” Barry said of Lefiti.
Lefiti’s family could not be reached for comment.
“Mikey” was well-known around Diamond Heights because he’d had his delivery route for many years, Barry said. Hard-working, warm, personable and kind, Lefiti would always greet people by name, with a big, deep voice in a friendly, caring way, and ask about them and their families.
He would talk about his family and how they were growing, and what they were doing or going to do, Barry recalled.
He would joke about his kids and “how they were eating him out of house and home,” and about how he had to lose weight, “and I would say, yeah, me too,” Barry said.
“He was a gentle giant,” Barry said. “He was really compassionate and cared about injustice whenever he saw it. … No one will ever fill the hole that he filled.”
Rebecca Kim, who owns Diamond Cleaners in the area, said “Mikey” had been delivering packages for all of the 15 to 16 years she’d had her business in the area.
“He knew every person’s name, he knew their children’s name and their pets’ name, and he was always joking and smiling…,” she said. “I can’t believe he’s gone.”
He also was the type of person who would always go above and beyond in his job, offering to help out and cheering up others, she said.
“He would be having lunch and he’d say, ‘Are you hungry? Can I get you lunch?'” she recalled.
“All these people are just grieving because they loved the guy. He was really sweet.”
San Francisco police have not released any information about the suspect, San Francisco resident Jimmy Lam. A union official said Wednesday that Lam had filed a grievance complaining that he was working excessive overtime.
Joseph Cilia, with a local Teamsters Union, said Lam’s grievance filed in March requested that UPS relieve him from working overtime going forward.
Still, Cilia said, Lam wasn’t angry, and he could not understand why he would open fire on his colleagues at a morning meeting Wednesday.
Cilia said the two other drivers who were wounded have been released from the hospital and will be OK.
Reached late Thursday evening, Rosenberg said the company wanted to offer its thanks to community members in the tragedy’s wake.
“From the neighbors in the area to the church across the street, they were incredible to provide support services,” Rosenberg said. “Even the pastor of the church making it a safe haven for employees during the police investigation yesterday, it’s just been a tremendous outpouring of support.”
Rosenberg said worker resilience and shifts from workers at other nearby facilities would allow the company to catch up quickly. “One amazing thing is how they’ve pulled together. Today they were back providing service, consoling each another.”
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/AP) — Four people including the gunman were dead and two others wounded in a shooting involving UPS employees at the company’s facility in San Francisco’s Potrero Hill neighborhood Wednesday morning, police said.
San Francisco Assistant Police Chief Toney Chaplin said that the shooter, a UPS employee in uniform, was among the dead. When police found him, he was still armed with an “assault pistol” which he then put to his head and killed himself, Chaplin said.
sources told KPIX 5 the employee was identified as Jimmy Lam.
The shooting was reported around 9 a.m. at the packaging and sorting facility at 320 San Bruno Ave.
Chaplin said investigators haven’t determined a motive for the shooting and that there was no evidence that terrorism played a role.
UPS spokesman Steve Gaut said the unidentified employee opened fire inside the facility before the drivers were sent out to do their normal daily deliveries.
The wife of one of the survivors told KPIX 5 that her husband said the gunman broke into the workers safety meeting and shot three employees “execution-style.”
“My husband called and was in distress,” she told KPIX 5. “So I only got pieces. He just wanted to let me he was okay. He said someone started shooting execution style and he just started running.”
San Francisco police tweeted at 10:33 a.m. that the building had been secured. Special operations were continuing to search the building for more possible victims.
Nearby, auto shop owner Robert Kim said he heard about five to eight rapid gunshots. The next thing he knew, he said, “there’s a mob of UPS drivers” running down the screaming “shooter, shooter.”
The San Francisco Office of Emergency Services said 911 calls began coming in around 9 a.m. of an active shooter at the massive facility.
Gaut said that the employee opened fire inside the facility before the drivers were sent out to do their normal daily deliveries.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee issued a statement thanking “our brave officers of the San Francisco Police Department, and our dedicated employees at 911 and San Francisco General Hospital.” He added:
I also want to offer my condolences and thoughts for the individuals and families affected by the senseless act of violence at the UPS facility. We all know the familiar faces of our local UPS drivers and delivery persons. Today’s tragedy will be felt in every community served by these committed employees.
U.S. and former San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein issued a statement recalling another mass shooting in San Francisco years ago:
I was heartbroken to learn that yet another senseless act of gun violence has marred our wonderful City. My heart goes out to the victims and their , and to everyone affected by this despicable act.California Gov. Jerry Brown tweeted: “Our thoughts & prayers with everyone impacted by senseless violence today in SF & Alexandria.”
I can’t help but recall the 101 California Street shooting in 1993, when eight people lost their lives. Violence is never the answer, but the continuing scourge of gun violence is particularly disheartening.
As we learn more details of this shooting, I’m hopeful that we can take away lessons to help prevent these acts from occurring in the future. We must do more to address the underlying roots of these tragic events.
The shooting came the same day a gunman opened fire on Republican lawmakers at a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia wounding U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana and several others
San Francisco UPS facility shooting: 4 dead including gunman, police say
By Katherine Lam Published June 14, 2017
Multiple injuries in workplace shooting in San Francisco
A UPS employee opened fire in a San Francisco package delivery facility in a shooting spree that left four dead, including the gunman, on Wednesday, police and the company said.
The gunman barged into the facility near 17th and Vermont streets around 9 a.m. local time and began shooting, San Francisco police confirmed to Fox News. The building is located in the Potrero Hill, which is about 2 1/2 miles from downtown San Francisco.
Two other people remain hospitalized. The gunman died of a self-inflicted wound, police said.
Police identified San Francisco resident Jimmy Lam as the shooter, according to NBC Bay Area. Lam has a history of mental illness, sources said. He was dressed in a UPS uniform at the time of the shooting, police said. UPS spokesman Steve Gaut confirmed the gunman was an employee at the facility.
The motive of the shooting is still unclear, police said, adding that they believe the incident was not terror-related. The FBI was aware of the shooting but did not intervene, the bureau told Fox News.
The shooting led to a massive police response, initiating a shelter-in-place for the surrounding area. The warning was lifted nearly three hours later after the incident was "contained" and the building was "secured," police said.
A woman who said she was an employee at the facility told KTVU that the gunman opened fire on the main sorting floor.
Auto shop owner Robert Kim said he heard about five to eight rapid gunshots. Just moments later, "there's a mob of UPS drivers" running down the street screaming "shooter, shooter," Kim said. Another witness said a group of about 10 workers assembled on the roof and held their hands up as police began to arrive.
A UPS spokesman said in an earlier statement to Fox News that there was an "incident involving employees" at the facility.
"Local law enforcement have control of the facility and are conducting an investigation. The company is cooperating with law enforcement. We cannot provide information as to the identity of persons involved at this time, pending the police investigation," the statement read.
"The company is saddened and deeply concerned about affected employees, family members and the community we share."
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee offered his condolences and said he was "always saddened by the loss of life to gun violence."