MINNEAPOLIS: The man who killed five people and himself after being fired by a Minneapolis company suffered from mental illness, his family said on Friday.
Andrew Engeldinger’s family released a statement expressing sympathy for the families of those he killed and wounded in Thursday’s shooting spree at Accent Signage Systems.
The family said he had struggled with mental illness. “This is not an excuse for his actions, but sadly, may be a partial explanation,” the family said.
Police investigators said they found another gun and 10,000 rounds of ammunition at Engeldinger’s house.
The dead included Reuven Rahamim, 61, Accent’s owner; Keith Basinski, 50, of Spring Lake Park, Minn., a UPS driver who made a delivery there late Thursday afternoon; and three Accent employees, Rami Cooks, 62, of Minnetonka, Jacob Beneke, 34, of Maple Grove, and Ronald Edberg, 58, of Brooklyn Centre.
Four died at the scene and one Friday morning at Hennepin Medical Centre.
Barry Lawrence, a former Accent employee who trained Engeldinger when he joined Accent more than 10 years ago, described him as someone who “caught on fast” and seemed “real conscientious.” He said Engeldinger was money-conscious and worried when the stock market dropped.
“I remember when he was hired, he was a quiet guy. I wouldn’t have thought he would have done anything like this,” Lawrence said.
An uncle, Joseph Engeldinger, said his nephew, who was 38 when he died, had broken off with his family about two years ago.
Several Accent employees returned to the scene on Friday morning as police detectives worked there.
Michael Allshouse, an employee at another sign company, described Accent as a small, close-knit business.
He said Rahamim, in addition to building the company, invented a system to add Braille messages to signs and placards.
“They were very tight,” Allshouse said of Accent’s workers.
Police Chief Tim Dolan said Engeldinger may have chosen to spare some former co-workers.