Co-worker ridicule might have led to Montgomery County shooting spree
Posted January 17, 2012
Star, N.C. — 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.
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.