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UPDATE: Former employee opens fire at Orlando office tower

Friday, November 6, 2009 | 12:45 p.m. CST
Emergency workers transport a victim from a shooting in downtown Orlando on Friday. Police are searching for the gunman. Orange County Sheriff's Spokesman Jim Solomons said his department is backing up Orlando police, and they're still looking for an armed man wearing a light blue polo shirt and jeans.

ORLANDO, Fla.— Officials searched Friday for a gunman who opened fire in a downtown office building. At least eight people were hurt.

People streamed out of the high-rise building around lunchtime and some told local television stations they had barricaded themselves inside their offices.

Orlando Fire Department District Chief Michael Droege said an unknown number of people were still in the building and could be injured. He said the SWAT team was still trying to pull people out.

"The building is not secure now," he said. "It's still unfolding."

Orlando police spokeswoman Barbara Jones identified the gunman as Jason Rodriguez, 40, and said he might be in a 2002 silver Nissan SUV with license plate D119UX. She said he used to work at the building.

"I would consider him armed and dangerous," Jones said. She said multiple people were hurt but she could not say how many. She said five people were taken to the hospital and another had chest pains but did not go to the hospital.

Gerry Gilgo, who works on the floor where the shooting occurred, told The Associated Press she was meeting a co-worker at the elevators for lunch.

"She yelled there are gun shots! There are gun shots! Get back in your office," Gilgo said.

Will Halpern, an attorney works on the building's 17th floor, was among the last group to be evacuated. He said the lobby was filled with about 20 officers in SWAT gear, carrying assault weapons, ready to search the building.

The Orlando Fire Department told WESH-TV that at least eight people were injured. Interstate 4 was closed in both directions through downtown and nearby schools were locked down.

Rows of ambulances lined up outside the building as police snipers took up positions around the building, and officers on foot and horseback searched the area.

 


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