Paul Connors  /  AP
Phoenix police investigators gather Thursday outside a Pitney Bowes office where two employees were shot Thursday, Nov. 2, 2006, in Phoenix. Police said they have arrested a suspect.
updated 11/2/2006 5:37:14 PM ET 2006-11-02T22:37:14

Police arrested a former security guard in the shooting of two men Thursday outside a corporate office building where he used to work.

Michael Blas Rivera, 31, was taken into custody at his apartment complex about six miles from the Pitney Bowes parking lot where the men were shot, police said. Both victims were hospitalized in critical condition.

Rivera, who had recently been fired from his job, called 911 before his arrest, police said. They did not disclose what he said.

Police believe it was Rivera who stepped out of a vehicle a few hours earlier and fired a semiautomatic rifle at a fellow security guard and office employee, critically injuring both, said Sgt. Joel Tranter. The victims were conscious and speaking when they were taken to a hospital, he said.

“I don’t know if he knew these employees,” Tranter said. “But it’s not a random act that he just chose this business.”

Rivera’s brother-in-law, Alberto Martinez, said Rivera has several guns and rifles but “it’s all legal.”

“There’s no way he’s the guy,” Martinez said. “He’s not that type of guy. He’s down to earth. He ain’t going to shoot nobody for no reason.”

Pitney Bowes spokeswoman Sheryl Battles said about 150 employees work at the building but no one else was injured in the shooting. The company shut down the office for the day and was providing counseling for employees, she said.

“The important thing is obviously that we are working closely with authorities on the matter,” Battles said.

Pitney Bowes Inc. is an international business communications company based in Stamford, Conn.

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