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Co-worker ridicule might have led to Montgomery County shooting spree

Posted January 17, 2012

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— Authorities said Tuesday that harassment at work and an apparent language barrier might have led a 50-year-old man to go on a fatal shooting spree at a Montgomery County lumber yard last week.

Ronald Dean Davis opened fire inside a warehouse at McBride Lumber Co. in Star on Friday, killing three co-workers and critically wounding another.

Deputies later found Davis, 50, inside his home in the nearby Ether community with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. He died Saturday at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill.

Davis left behind a six-page handwritten note at his home indicating that he felt harassed by co-workers, many of whom speak Spanish. 

"It appears by the note that he felt certain people, they'd be in a group and start laughing, and that they were laughing at him due to the language barrier," Montgomery County Sheriff Dempsey Owens said. 

Owens said Davis went to the warehouse with a 12-gauge shotgun, killing Daniel Thomas Davis, 32, of Star, Jose Galdino Lopez Izquierdo, 25, of Asheboro, and Eusebio Diaz Gomez, of Asheboro, and critically wounding Florentino Tellez Aparicio, 21, of Candor.

montgomery county sheriff's Ridicule sparked Star shooting spree

After shooting them once, Davis shot them again at point-blank range before going outside and shooting toward the woods where some employees had run to escape, Owens said.

Aparicio was listed in fair condition at UNC Hospitals on Tuesday.

Daniel Davis and Ronald Davis were cousins, authorities said, but it was unclear if Daniel Davis was an intended target. The other three employees were Hispanic. 

Owens said Friday that he believed Ronald Davis targeted his victims, but on Monday, he said the shooting appeared to be more indiscriminate. 

"He opened the door and started shooting, and the people started scurrying and running," Owens said. 

Donnie McBride, who owns the lumber company, said Davis worked for him for about a decade. He denied that Davis was ever harassed at work. 

Owens said the letter Davis left behind also mentions that he believed people were poisoning his food and feared he had a medical condition. Owens said as far as they know, doctors did not find anything medically wrong with Davis. 

"There's really no clear-cut reason why he went and did this," Owens said. "We can definitely tell he had some feelings, or thoughts in his head that people were out to get him and were trying to hurt him." 

Owens held a news conference on Tuesda “because I feel like the people in my county need closure, we need to put this behind us.”

Donald Davis told WRAL News that his twin brother mentioned being harassed at work, but he didn't think he was depressed. Donald Davis said his brother was "not a killer, not a mean person."

Donald Davis said the two used to hunt deer and catch catfish. 

168 Comments

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  • wildcat Jan 18, 2012

    sleep better knowing that there are so many on this site who are educated in mental illeness,is that from having been diagnosed yourselves or is that posting on here with a false sense of intellect makes you feel as if your opinion has meaning,this subject has been worn out.
    cantstandya

    Honey, it had to been some kind of mental issues for this man to shoot up and kill his co-workers. Sorry you don't see the real picture here. But the truth of the matter is: IT IS WHAT IT IS! Except the facts and move on. Don't have to be a doctor with a degree in hand to know a mental person when you come across one.

  • LambeauSouth Jan 18, 2012

    real simple way to determine if what he said was plausible, test his food, have a writing expert check the note, have an autopsy done on his brain.

  • computer trainer Jan 18, 2012

    Do you think that the owner of the lumber yard would say if the guy was being harassed?? I sort of doubt it, cause then someone might try to sue HIM!

    Sorry, but if you come into a room a few times and the same group of people are standing around talking and each time you come in, they stop talking. Chances are pretty good that it has something to do with you. Either they are talking ABOUT you, or talking about something that they do not want you to hear. Either way, how rude can you be? Well, it seems that he took all he could and snapped.

  • LambeauSouth Jan 18, 2012

    Now where exactly in that quote does it say "he mentions that they were talking turned to him and laughed?" Before make comments about reading comprehension, you might want to read what you posted, both your own words and the story.
    rescuefan
    it's in the story! wriiten by the shooter, presented by the Sheriff. jeez

  • cantstandya Jan 18, 2012

    I sleep better knowing that there are so many on this site who are educated in mental illeness,is that from having been diagnosed yourselves or is that posting on here with a false sense of intellect makes you feel as if your opinion has meaning,this subject has been worn out.

  • rescuefan Jan 18, 2012

    ""It appears by the note that he felt certain people, they'd be in a group and start laughing, and that they were laughing at him due to the language barrier" Maybe some reading comphrehension is in order hey Resue!
    LambeauSouth"

    Now where exactly in that quote does it say "he mentions that they were talking turned to him and laughed?" Before make comments about reading comprehension, you might want to read what you posted, both your own words and the story.

  • LambeauSouth Jan 18, 2012

    to all of you experts
    "The symptoms of schizophrenia also can be attributed to other mental illnesses, and no one symptom can pinpoint a diagnosis of schizophrenia. In men, schizophrenia symptoms typically start in the teens or 20s. In women, schizophrenia symptoms typically begin in the 20s or early 30s. It's uncommon for children to be diagnosed with schizophrenia and rare for those older than 40."

  • LambeauSouth Jan 18, 2012

    This is consistent with schizophrenia....babbleon
    and your credentials are? your an expert and studied where?
    that's what I thought, and Haggis, so because he wrote about it it didn't happen, no evidence that it did not happen, see how that works!

  • LambeauSouth Jan 18, 2012

    People , Please stop with the Oh he's a nut job, He looked like someone who was crazy..Really? You all can tell that from a picture? Question to the Boss would be , if what you say is true why was he still employed? why has he worked for you for ten years?

  • hondabyz Jan 18, 2012

    He didnt look like someone who like to joke anyways. Sometimes people need to learn to just leave certain people alone. Not everyone has a sense of humor. Very sad that this was the only solution he could come up with.

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