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Gunman at large after deadly NorCal quarry shooting

October 5, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Authorities searched Northern California neighborhoods near a limestone quarry where a disgruntled employee went on a deadly shooting spree, killing three and wounding six.

The search was one of several conducted Wednesday morning as authorities tried to track down 47-year-old Shareef Allman, who they said opened fire at about 4:15 a.m. at a routine safety meeting at the Permanente Quarry in the Bay Area town of Cupertino, about 10 miles west of San Jose.

Allman became upset and left the meeting then returned with a handgun and rifle and started shooting people, Santa Clara County sheriff's Lt. Rick Sung said. About 15 workers were at the meeting.

Allman's vehicle was found a few miles away at a parking lot near the Hewlett-Packard Co.'s Cupertino campus. That's where a woman was shot in the leg during an attempted carjacking. That woman, who is a contract worker for HP, was listed in fair condition at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Cupertino and nearby Los Gatos schools were on lockdown or closed during the search.

Authorities went door to door with guns drawn and residents were warned to stay indoors.

Santa Clara County sheriff's officials said Allman got upset at a routine safety meeting and left. He then returned and started shooting people. Two assault rifles, a handgun and a shotgun were found in Allman's vehicle.

About 15 workers were at the meeting. Six people were wounded, two were pronounced dead at the scene and a third died at an area hospital. Of the injured, some remained in critical condition as of Wednesday afternoon.

Allman was last seen in surveillance footage from a nearby gas station shortly after the shooting outside Hewlett-Packard. Officials said he appeared to be armed in the video.

Allman runs a nonprofit group for youths and produces a public access television show for CreaTV in San Jose in addition to his job at the quarry.

The shootings rattled those who know Allman, said Paulette Conner, a neighbor in his San Jose apartment complex.

"He's always had a smile on his face," said Conner, 57, who has known Allman for five years. "I've never known him to have any violent tendencies. Never. Ever."

Conner said Allman occasionally griped to her and others over the years about his job, including his various shift changes and some co-workers, but she never imagined that he could do something violent. She said Allman is a local fixture who has been heavily involved in San Jose's black community.

The Permanente Quarry is a limestone and aggregate mining operation and cement plant owned by Lehigh Southwest Cement.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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