Gunman kills businessman, 3 others at Minn. office
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – A man burst into a sign-making business in Minneapolis, fatally shooting the owner and three others in the office before turning the gun on himself, family and officials said Friday.
Police have refused to name the shooter, who injured at least four others in the Thursday afternoon attack, and say a search of the suspect’s home turned up nothing.
Reuven Rahamim, 61, was shot to death in “a senseless act of violence” at Accent Signage Systems Inc. in Bryn Mawr, a mainly residential neighborhood on the northwest side of the city, son-in-law Chad Blumenfield said in a statement.
“Other members of the Accent family tragically lost their lives as well, and we mourn their loss,” Blumenfield said. He provided no details.
UPS driver Keith Basinski was also killed, the mail service said in a statement Friday. UPS Northern Plains District President Jill Schubert did not say why Basinski was at the Accent offices. She said the company was “profoundly shocked and saddened” at his death.
Authorities have not revealed the names of the others killed.
A police summary describes a chaotic scene with multiple 911 calls from the business, with one caller saying someone had been shot. When police arrived, they found four people dead. Dozens of police squad cars and SWAT officers swarmed the area. The first officers on the scene evacuated workers from the business and closed off several blocks.
Of the wounded, John Souter’s condition was upgraded from critical to serious as of Friday morning and Eric Rivers remained in critical condition, according to Christine Hill, a spokeswoman for the Hennepin County Medical Center where they were being treated. She had no information on the condition of a third man earlier listed in critical condition.
A fourth person injured has been treated and released, Hill said Friday.
Late Thursday, police searched a house in south Minneapolis where the suspected shooter had lived, but found “nothing that we know of,” police spokesman Sgt. Stephen McCarty said.
Property records identify the homeowner as Andrew Engeldinger, whose uncle said he had died in the shooting. Andrew Engeldinger, 36, had been an Accent employee, and his father was told by the medical examiner that he was dead, the uncle, Joe Engeldinger, said.
Police refused to say whether or not Engeldinger was the shooter.
There was no evidence of life at that house early Friday except a light in the basement and a boarded-up window with pieces of broken glass nearby. No one responded to a knock on the door.
Thomas Pitheon, a neighbor who lives across the alley, said he came home just after dark Thursday and found “about a dozen” SWAT team members around the house. Pitheon said he had only exchanged pleasantries with the homeowner he knew as Andrew, whom he described as “an average guy” in his 40s.
Rahamim started Accent Signage Systems, Inc. in the basement of his Minneapolis home in the early 1980s, according to the business publication Finance & Commerce. Rahamim said he chose that name because he wanted it to be the first sign company listed in the Yellow Pages.
The small interior signage company specializes in American with Disabilities Act-compliant signs after developing a patented method to create Braille signs for the blind. U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce Francisco Sanchez praised the company for its innovation during a visit to the facility in August, the paper reported.
Rahamim was born and raised in Israel and served as a soldier in the Israeli army before coming to the U.S., Blumenfield said.
“He loved his work and dedicated much of his energy to developing new and greener products,” he said by email. “He loved cooking and having people over at his home. He loved spending time with his children and grandchildren and especially loved to take his grandson for bike rides.”
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton expressed his condolences. “I deplore this senseless violence,” Dayton said. “There is no place for it anywhere in Minnesota.”
The family of the man who killed four people at a Minneapolis sign company says he struggled for years with mental illness.
Police said Friday that Andrew J. Engeldinger of Minneapolis opened fire at Accent Signage Systems just hours after being let go from the company Thursday morning.
His family says in a statement released through the National Alliance on Mental Illness that they aren’t trying to excuse Engeldinger’s actions, but perhaps partially explain them.
Alliance director Sue Abderholden says the family had approached the group for help about two years ago. That’s about when Engeldinger’s uncle says his nephew broke off contact with his family.
Abderholden says Engeldinger’s parents took a class on understanding and dealing with mental illness. But she says they couldn’t convince Engeldinger to seek help.