updated 11/16/2008 11:44:27 AM ET 2008-11-16T16:44:27

Those who know Jing Hua Wu said the 47-year-old engineer was a smart, unassuming family man whose three young boys played among neighborhood children on a quiet street in this Silicon Valley city.

After Wu was arrested Saturday on suspicion of fatally shooting three of his co-workers after being laid off from a high-tech company in Santa Clara, neighbors said they were struggling to make sense of the tragedy.

Those who know Wu referred to him fondly as "Jerry" and his wife as "Jane," and described him as a happily married father of 6-year-old twin boys and another boy under 3.

"It's shocking and emotionally jarring," said Jim Pollart, 47, a neighbor who met Wu and his wife when the couple moved into the area some 11 years ago. "Who knows what happened to cause him to do such a horrible thing. It's unbelievable."

Faces three counts of murder
Wu will be booked into jail on three counts of murder, police said.

"Wu is a nice, smart guy who is quiet by nature," Pollart said, adding that his children regularly played with Wu's kids. He also recalled how joyous Wu and his wife were when their parents made annual visits from China.

Wu was laid off from his job as a product test engineer at SiPort Inc. on Friday morning, and returned hours later to request a meeting with company officials, said Santa Clara Police Chief Stephen Lodge. Witnesses told police that Wu did not give any indication that he was upset when he arrived at the office park.

"It was during this meeting that Jing Wu took out a 9 mm handgun and shot and killed all three officials," Lodge said.

The shots killed 56-year-old Sid Agrawal, SiPort's chief executive officer; Brian Pugh, 47, vice president of operations; and Marilyn Lewis, 67, head of human resources.

Officers looking for gun
He was not armed when he was arrested, and officers were still looking for the gun used in the slayings, police said.

Now, Pollart said, his otherwise quiet neighborhood was shaken after police swarmed the area.

Standing outside Wu's home Saturday evening, Pollart saw a woman come out the house and asked her how Wu's wife was doing. The woman replied, "Not so well."

A man holding a briefcase walked into Wu's house and was met by Wu's wife at the door. They did not respond to a reporter's subsequent knocks on the door.

"This is a truly tragic event. These people are innocent victims just trying to do their jobs," Sellers said. "To get him into custody within hours of the event was very, very important to our department."

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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