updated 3/5/2007 7:26:58 PM ET 2007-03-06T00:26:58

A disgruntled employee shot and seriously wounded three co-workers at a menu printing plant Monday, then killed himself before a SWAT team entered the building, authorities said.

The man, about 67, entered Kenyon Press shortly after 9 a.m., walked past a superior and opened fire on three co-workers with a semiautomatic handgun, said police Capt. Mary Risinger. The name of the gunman wasn’t released.

The business owner told police the man had indicated he was upset about a reduction in work affecting all employees, Risinger said. The owner wasn’t present during the shooting.

“The employees recently had their hours cut back,” Risinger said. “So he was upset about that, about not having enough work.”

The cutback began six months ago, and the man had not been given any work hours for the last month and a half, Risinger said. The man said “shut up” to someone before he shot the three victims, who apparently helped him get the job about a year ago, Risinger said.

2 victims in stable condition
Trauma surgeon Gergis Ghobrial said Rafael Mendoza, 46, was shot once in the back and once in the left elbow, and part of his spine was fractured. Sergio Garcia, 49, was shot once in the chest and once in the left shoulder.

Both were in fair but stable condition at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, Ghobrial said.

“They were very shocked,” Ghobrial said. “They could not talk, but now they seem to be more relaxed.”

There was no immediate information on the other victim, who was taken to St. Mary Medical Center.

A dozen workers were in the business at the time of the attack. A female worker locked herself in a room and called 911 when the shooting started.

Some employees, including two of the wounded, had fled by the time police arrived. Officers got the other employees and the remaining wounded man out of the building.

Ray Luna, 34, saw the chaos from a construction business where he works across the street.

“Some of them were running from the back of the building,” he said of fleeing employees. “The other ones were coming out from the front door. And the cops were pulling them out with guns drawn and frisking them down.”

The total number of shots fired wasn’t known, Risinger said.

Kenyon Press, which makes custom-designed menus, has customer service personnel, copywriters, designers, illustrators, proofreaders, prepress, press and bindery/manufacturing workers.

Its clientele includes Las Vegas casinos and hotel chains, according to its Web site.

Signal Hill, a city of about 11,000, is 20 miles south of Los Angeles, surrounded by the port city of Long Beach.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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