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Shooter blocked door, screamed before rampage

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Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith details the shooting death of shooting suspect Shareef Allman by deputies on routine patrol in a Sunnyvale, Calif. neighborhood on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011, in Sunnyvale. Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith details the shooting death of shooting suspect Shareef Allman by deputies on routine patrol in a Sunnyvale, Calif. neighborhood on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011, in Sunnyvale.

CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — The man who opened fire on his colleagues at a Silicon Valley cement plant this week picked off his victims one by one as he shouted obscenities and they cowered in fear beneath tables in a meeting room, a survivor recalled Friday in providing chilling new details about the rampage.

Jose Rivas, 49, recalled that his co-worker Shareef Allman arrived at a security meeting at the plant early Wednesday, grabbed a cup of coffee and left.

Allman returned to the small meeting room five minutes later, barricaded the door, yelled an obscenity and opened fire.

He shot 59-year-old Mark Munoz first, then picked off others one by one, said Rivas, who works on a conveyer belt at the plant.

As the workers cowered in terror underneath tables, Allman crouched down to look at each one before firing, he said.

Rivas watched as others were shot, then put his head down on his arm and waited. But Allman passed him by, which Rivas called a miracle.

Allman, a truck driver at the plant, killed Munoz and two others and wounded six more before leaving the room.

A couple of hours later, authorities believe he shot a woman in an attempted carjacking, wounding her.

During the ensuing manhunt for Allman, schools were locked down in Cupertino, home of Apple Inc., and in nearby communities. Authorities went door to door with guns drawn and residents were warned to stay indoors.

On Thursday, three deputies killed Allman after spotting him in a Sunnyvale neighborhood.

The deputies' lawyer said Friday that Allman made a suicidal comment and brandished a handgun before the deputies opened fire.

San Jose attorney Terry Bowman represents Santa Clara County Sheriff's Deputies Fabian De Santiago, Christopher Hilt and Lindsay Crist.

The three were on routine patrol Thursday morning in Sunnyvale when De Santiago spotted Allman, 47, crouching behind two cars in a driveway, Bowman said.

"(De Santiago) gets out of the car and he is realizing that this person matches the description of Mr. Allman, and he's aware of what happened at the quarry and that he is presumed armed and dangerous," Bowman said. "And (De Santiago) is telling him, 'Let me see your hands! Let me see your hands!'"

Allman put his hands in the air, and the deputies noticed he was holding a handgun, Bowman said.

Bowman said all three deputies said the man made a comment to the effect of "kill me."

"He then points his gun directly at the deputy," Bowman said. "All three deputies see this, and all three fire their weapons in response to the deadly threat."

Bowman says all three deputies are cooperating with the investigation. All three have been on the force less than five years.

Authorities have not released any details about a possible motive, other than to say the suspect was disgruntled.

Allman's friends and colleagues said he had complained about being treated unfairly by his managers, but still were baffled that he apparently resorted to violence.

Allman was recently suspended after he accidentally hit a power line while dumping a truck load at the quarry, according to Bill Hoyt, secretary-treasurer of Teamster's Local 287.

Hoyt said Allman visited his labor union offices less than a week before the quarry shooting, saying he was being treated unfairly.

"But he was fine and didn't seem angry," Hoyt said. "We talked and joked around."

Tom Chizmadia, a spokesman for Lehigh Hanson Inc., the cement plant and quarry's corporate parent, said the company disagreed that there was any racial discrimination.

"The company feels very strongly about diversity in the work force," he said.

Chizmadia said the company is paying all funeral expenses for the families, and has been providing grief counseling to the families since Wednesday. He also said all 150 employees at the Lehigh Southwest Cement plant are receiving full pay while the plant remains closed.

"This is an event no one could have foreseen. It's absolutely shocking and unprecedented in the 70 plus years from this site," Chizmadia said. "We don't want (employees) to have any financial burden at all."

Those killed at the quarry were identified as Manuel Pinon, 48, of Newman, Calif.; and John Vallejos, 51, and Munoz both of San Jose. Six others at the quarry were wounded, some critically, and taken to hospitals, Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith said.

The carjacking victim, a Hewlett-Packard contract employee, was taken to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. An update on her injuries wasn't immediately available Friday, but she was earlier listed in fair condition.

In addition to working at the quarry, Allman had run a nonprofit youth development organization and produced and hosted a public access television show in San Jose. He also wrote a novel about the evils of domestic violence.


Associated Press writers Jason Dearen and Sudhin Thanawala in San Francisco contributed to this report.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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