1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Some interesting statements in this article on the St Louis factory shooting

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Jeff White, Oct 23, 2004.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Alma Illinois
    This article brings out some truths that may be uncomfortable for some people to face. Note the reference to deer slugs being more deadly then the birdshot he loaded his shotgun with. Everyone here knows that's true, but this is the first time I've seen it published in a news article. Might be a wake up call for the "as long as they don't mess with my hunting, I don't care what they do with handguns or those evil assault weapons" crowd. I really don't think this is a deliberate attempt to vilify deer slugs, but the effect is the same.

    And the last statement refers to another truth that we all know, that shoulder weapons are more effective then handguns. All in all, I don't think it's a bad article, but it does give the antis ammunition to go after sporting weapons.

    Factory gunman is charged with assault
    By Heather Ratcliffe
    Of the Post-Dispatch

    The man had been fired from Beltservice Corp. in Earth City and said he had planned to kill his former boss at the conveyor manufacturing plant.

    A former worker with a grudge walked into a factory in St. Louis County carrying a shotgun and walked out carrying a Bible.

    During more than seven hours in-between on Thursday, Pelayo Errasti shot at - but missed - the man he said he wanted to kill and wounded someone else by accident, police said. The gunman held off tactical officers by putting his weapon to his head and telling them he was hearing voices.

    Errasti, 48, of St. Louis, surrendered unharmed and was charged Friday with three counts each of first-degree assault and armed criminal action in the incident at Beltservice Corp., a conveyor manufacturer at 4143 Rider Trail in Earth City.

    County police described him as a Cuban immigrant with a criminal record who was fired from Beltservice about a year ago.

    Officials provided this account:

    Errasti sat in his van outside the plant, reading his Bible, until the shift change about 3 p.m. Thursday. Then he picked up his shotgun and a bag of ammunition and headed inside, police said. Some former co-workers saw him coming and sounded an alarm.

    Supervisors used walkie-talkies and a public address system to warn others: "Get out of the building!"

    Errasti went into the office of his former supervisor, Dale Wolfe, who had fired him, and blasted shots through two computers, police said. He then wandered around the building, going outside and returning several times.

    When he spotted Wolfe and another man about 100 yards away, he fired a few shots, missing both, police said. All but one of approximately 130 employees present escaped uninjured in the commotion.

    But Amos Lewman, 61, apparently startled Errasti by running from an office. Errasti fired at him, too, bloodying Lewman's hip with some pellets of birdshot, police said.

    The gunman apologized for shooting him.

    "I'm here to kill Dale," he explained to Lewman, according to court records.

    Errasti went to a corner of the building and sat with the gun to his head, police said.

    Meanwhile, Lewman and a friend hid in a room with a phone. Lewman told a police dispatcher that he was wounded but stable. He provided details to help arriving police locate his attacker in the sprawling building.

    Officers surrounded the place with heavy firepower as fleeing employees took shelter in nearby businesses that then locked their doors. Ambulances stood by for the worst, while police and news helicopters churned the air above, just west of Lambert Field and north of Interstate 70.

    The county's Tactical Unit pried open the locked front door, and six members moved around the factory in what police call a "diamond formation," with officers back-to-back in a pattern where they can return fire in any direction. They found their man sitting on a reel of rubber.

    Two officers watched him while the others located Lewman and his companion and led them to safety.

    Police eventually tossed a telephone to Errasti, who continued to hold his gun tightly to his head, they said. Police Sgt. Mark Whitson, a trained negotiator, talked to Errasti for hours, listening for clues to build a bond.

    "He did a good job using his listening skills to let the guy vent and also elicit information," said Gene Dorough, a former county officer who trains negotiators. "You have to find one thought to develop into a theme and use that to communicate and build trust."

    Whitson and Errasti talked about religion. The gunman described voices in his head and his need to control them, police said.

    Whitson offered the gunman a tool in that struggle - the Bible Errasti had left in his van.

    Several officers covered Whitson as he carried the book back in. Once Errasti agreed to unload his gun, at about 10:30 p.m., he was arrested and handed the Bible.

    "Unsatisfied needs are great motivators," Dorough said.

    Although Lewman was hit by birdshot, light pellets considered less likely to inflict lethal harm, Errasti carried far deadlier ammunition too, including heavy "deer slugs," police said. Initial concern that he might have carried some kind of bomb in his bag proved unfounded.

    Held without bail

    Errasti, of the 3300 block of Michigan Avenue, was held without bail. Police said that federal authorities told them he had a history of some violence.

    Immigration officials did not return calls Friday. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which had provided information to the county police about Errasti, would not comment.

    "There were a variety of scenarios going on in this gentleman's life," said St. Louis County Police Chief Jerry Lee. "Part of it was personal. Part of it was his employment."

    Lee said police were grateful it had all ended with no loss of life.

    "The initial information was that this was a factory with several employees still in it," Lee explained. "And anytime you have somebody with a shoulder weapon or assault weapon, the possibility of multiple victims is always there. So we think it ended well."

    Reporter Heather Ratcliffe:
    E-mail: hratcliffe@post-dispatch.com
    Phone: 314-863-2821
  2. Zrex

    Zrex Member

    May 28, 2004
    So they can talk down a guy with a shotgun who is shooting up a former employer, but 75 year old women need to be tasered to get them out of a building?

    IM KIDDING! really! :D
  3. RavenVT100

    RavenVT100 Member

    Aug 18, 2004
    Whereas non-shouldered weapons in the hands of a deranged person do not connotate the possibility of multiple victims? I don't get it.
  4. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    Dec 24, 2002
    Idahohoho, the jolliest state
    Heck, even the time of day or a weather report is enough to give the anti-Second Amendment bigots further incentive to disarm law-abiding American citizens.
  5. Bruce H

    Bruce H Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    North Mo.
    If this POS was real lucky the last voice in his head would have been the command shoot.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page