The Norman Transcript

November 8, 2012

Motive unclear in shooting

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

FRESNO, Calif. — The ex-convict who shot a handful of his co-workers execution-style at a California chicken-processing plant, killing two, kept to himself but was a model employee, according to his boss and neighbors.

Lawrence Nathaniel Jones, 42, had been in and out of prison since 1991 for crimes ranging from armed robbery to a car theft. A neighbor described him as intimidating, but a co-worker and his boss said he was nice and respectful.

As police tried to determine what motivated Jones’ attack at the Valley Protein plant in Fresno on Tuesday, those who knew him painted a conflicting portrait.

Armed with a handgun, he moved methodically among his first three victims a few hours into his morning shift. He shot a woman who tried to flee, and then put the gun to one more person’s head and pulled the trigger, but the gun was out of bullets, according to police.

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