Meridian Star

National News

November 9, 2009

(11:22 a.m.) Orlando-Office Shooting

MIKE SCHNEIDER,Associated Press Writer

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A man who was in an Orlando office when a former employee came in and started shooting said Monday that the ordeal that left one dead and five injured lasted about a minute.

Mark Davidson, a vice president at the engineering firm Reynolds, Smith and Hills, said Monday that his co-workers stayed calm Friday and didn't scream as Jason Rodriguez entered a reception area of the eighth-floor office and began shooting randomly.

"Nobody was screaming or yelling," Davidson said. "It wasn't panicky."

The gunman pulled a pistol from a holster under his shirt in the reception area of the U-shaped office and began shooting. At first, Davidson said he didn't know what the noise was. He thought it might be balloons popping or book shelves falling over. There is only one main entrance to the office from outside, and it was typically unlocked during business hours.

The building had security guards posted at a desk on the first floor, but visitors could come and go with relative ease before Friday's shooting.

The noises kept getting closer and Davidson saw other people running, and he knew something was wrong.

Davidson ran to back of the office where other workers had gathered and they waited a moment, trying to piece together what was happening. They then saw the gunman from about 25 yards away as he had made his way about three-quarters through the U-shaped office. They fled.

"You're seeing the shooter and you put two and two together," Davidson said. "You knew we were, as a company, victims of a senseless crime."

Rodriguez has been charged with first-degree murder, and Orlando Police Chief Val Demings said Monday that more charges are expected. The shooting caused havoc in downtown Orlando as authorities scrambled to find Rodriguez, who was eventually tracked to his mother's home. He surrendered peacefully, but later remarked to reporters that he went on the rampage because his former co-workers "left me to rot."

Text Only
National News
  • Bin Laden Obama: Al-Qaida head bin Laden dead

         Osama bin Laden, the glowering mastermind behind the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks that murdered thousands of Americans, was killed in an operation led by the United States, President Barack Obama said Sunday.
        A small team of Americans killed bin Laden in a firefight Sunday at a compound in Pakistan, the president said in a dramatic late-night statement at the White House.

    May 2, 2011 1 Photo

  • Governors' races offer heated skirmishes

         WASHINGTON (AP) - Some of the sharpest bare-knuckle skirmishes this election season are the races for governor, especially in states shouldering the highest unemployment rates and largest tax increases.
        Many also are important in presidential elections, and both parties are pouring millions of dollars into statehouse races in the closing days of the campaign.

    October 25, 2010

  • Employers looking at health insurance options

         WASHINGTON (AP) - The new health care law wasn't supposed to undercut employer plans that have provided most people in the U.S. with coverage for generations.
        But last week a leading manufacturer told workers their costs will jump partly because of the law. Also, a Democratic governor laid out a scheme for employers to get out of health care by shifting workers into taxpayer-subsidized insurance markets that open in 2014.

    October 25, 2010

  • Governors brace for more economic turmoil

        WASHINGTON (AP) — On the recession’s front lines, governors are struggling to chart the road ahead for states staggered by unrelenting joblessness and cut-to-the-bone budgets even as Washington reports signs of economic growth.
        ‘‘The worst probably is yet to come,’’ warned Gov. Jim Douglas, R-Vt., chairman of the National Governors Association, at the group’s meeting Saturday. He called the situation ‘‘fairly poor’’ in most states, adding that it ‘‘doesn’t look too good.’’

    February 22, 2010

  • office arrests.jpg Senator's Office-Arrests

    Four men accused of trying to tamper with Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu's office phones shared a common experience as young ideologues writing for conservative publications.

    January 27, 2010 1 Photo

  • (10:18 a.m.) Runaway Convert Runaway Ohio girl to remain free of Muslim parents

    January 20, 2010

  • (9:01 a.m.) Haiti-Americans US husband saves wife trapped in Haiti rubble

    January 13, 2010

  • (1:58 p.m.) Hubble Photo Hubble telescope shows earliest photo of universe

    January 5, 2010

  • (8:41 a.m.) Border GPS Phone points illegal border crossers to water

    December 29, 2009

  • (8:53 a.m.) Airline Scare No danger on Sunday flight _ just an ill passenger

    December 28, 2009

Biz Marquee
New Today

Are you for or against Common Core — which is mandated by the state — being taught in Mississippi schools?

     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide