News Article

Emcore Ex-Employee Goes On Shooting Spree

The former skilled operator opened fire inside the South East Albuquerque Emcore facility, killing two employees and injuring four others before turning the gun on himself.

A former employee of Emcore shot and killed two women and injured four other employees at Emcore’s facility in New Mexico.

According to the most recent reports on KRQE News 13, police say Robert Reza, aged 37, first confronted 47 year old Sharon Cunningham outside the Emcore building, shot her two times and moved on. She was killed. Police say Reza’s ex-girlfriend Adrienne Basciano, 49, and 36 year old Michele Turner were sitting at a picnic table nearby. Reza shot Basciano multiple times. He then chased after Turner and shot her multiple times, killing her. From there police say Reza shot out a 3 foot window and climbed into the building. Inside, he shot 3 more people before going into an office and killing himself. They also said, “Several more employees were injured while trying to flee."

Since the tragedy, which occurred around about 9.30am on 12July, there have been conflicting statements about the shooting. An initial statement from Albuquerque Police Chief, Ray Schultz, given on KRQE News 13, said that there were 6 fatalities including the shooter. According to CNN News, it was later reported by authorities that that the number of fatalities stood at 3. Earlier reports also mistakenly identified the shooter as a woman. Some reports said around 85Emcore employees were later taken to a community center for interviews with detectives, while others say some 220 were transported. Police said miscommunication among officers and emergency personnel was to blame for the erroneous reports. 

 In his initial statement, Schultz said “Six people have been removed from within the facility. They have been transported to the University (of New Mexico) hospital as part of a mass casualty response. Of the 6 people who have been transported to the University hospital, 2 have since died as a result of their gunshot wounds. At this time we have 2 people who are in a stable condition and we have 2 that are in the Emergency room in the OR." He also said that they believed the incident “to be a domestic violence workplace situation."

Schultz later commented on Kob TV, “We don’t know if they were specific targets or if they just were in the wrong place at the wrong time. It appears that the gunman, obviously after shooting his girlfriend, we believe he was looking for somebody else…"

According to more recent CNN reports, awoman and man, both 58, and a 54-year-old woman have since been released from the hospital. reported that at a press conference on Tuesday, Chief Operating Officer at Emcore, Chris Larocca said, “Yesterday’s shooting was a horrendous tragedy, and our company and employees are still processing what happened". He also said that grief counseling will continue to be available to Emcore employees and that the company will pay full salaries and benefits to the families of the victims for a year and take care of all funeral arrangements.

Questions have since been asked as to how Reza was able to get inside the building, which has been described as secure. At the press conference Larocca said, “All of our buildings are locked all day long.  They require pass keys to get into any entrance or exit in the building. So it is a very secure building."

Having worked at Emcore as an operator for nearly three years, Robert Reza had some knowledge of the building layout but there was nothing in his personnel file that raised any red flags. KRQE News 13 reports said that Larocca made it clear that Reza was not fired from his job at Emcore ; he resigned in July 2009 for medical reasons.

Larocca concluded, “We intend to honor victims and their families, support our employees in every manner possible, and return to a normal work environment just as soon as practical."

The company have set up an Employee Crisis Hotlineaccessible on the following number:

(505) 750-1584

The company announced plans to reopen on Thursday.

Our hearts and deepest sympathies go out to all those affected by this senseless tragedy.

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