2 dead, 3 hurt after disgruntled employee opens fire in Chester linen shop

A typical day at work took a devastating turn when officials say a disgruntled employee took out his anger on his coworkers, leaving two of them dead.

"These people lost their lives just by showing up to work today," District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer said Wednesday after a shooting erupted at Delaware County Linen on 4th Street around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Officials say the suspect was armed when he walked into his former workplace, and opened fire, striking five people.

Two of those victims have been confirmed dead, and three others seriously injured.

The three injured victims have been transported to Crozer Medical Center, with at least one of them in critical condition.

Police say a supervisor was among the victims shot.

"A disgruntled employee has walked into the linen shop. A Delaware County linen shop behind us and shot five people, five co-workers," said Jack Stollsteimer, Delaware County District Attorney in a presser Wednesday.


Investigators say the disgruntled employee, whose identity has not been released, fled the scene in a car, but an alert police officer from nearby Trainer gave chase to a Curran Street address nearby where neighbors believe he lives.

FOX 29's Jeff Cole spoke to officials and neighbors in the area. 

"I was with my dog, and I was chilling. We heard a couple of shots. We came out--saw people running and another person was shot down. I said to a man, "Is he shot?"  He said yes." said Francisco Kenty, eyewitness.

As word of the shooting spreads, a 5-year employee, not working today, says the disgruntled worker made threats.

"He’s coming right here. He say, ‘me don’t care, me don’t care me kill it- -white people,’ said Julia Garcia, an employee. Jeff Cole asked,  "He wanted to kill white people.?" Garcia replied, "Every people."

A neighbor said she has argued with him in the past.

"Stuff that’s parked on the sidewalk right next to my house. You need to move that? My father owns that. Well, your father don’t own me or this street. Not moving it. I said you do you," said Inetha Bryan, Chester.

" When the tow truck did come, he was on the ground, they just got him from there. Been here 37 years, he just moved up here," said Lefenus Powell, Chester resident. 

FOX 29’s Chris O’Conell also spoke with more employees and neighbors who say they heard the incident. 

Employee Laly Brabo had just got to work when she said she heard gunshots inside the building on West 4th Street.  More shots were fired in the parking lot.

"I hear the noise so like explosion and thought maybe it was an explosion to the machine," said Brabo.

James Pierce lives across the street and said he heard the shooting from his porch. 

Gunshots shattered the glass at a church across the street. 

"I heard all this pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop," said Pierce. "I walked back up the street and I seen the young man laying dead over there, and I said damn."

The shooter is facing murder charges and those who work at the linen company wonder if they can ever go back again.

"I don’t know, because it is very difficult. You know you work with people, friends, and it happened to. I think of their face and not seeing them anymore," said Brabo. 

Sources briefed on the shooting told FOX29 there was a meeting inside the company Tuesday on a dispute involving the worker. 

Meanwhile, Chester’s new mayor confronted an old problem.

"It’s heartbreaking. It’s tragic it has to stop. Chester never expected to be the epicenter of another episode of workplace violence," said Mayor Stefan Roots, (D)-Chester: 

An investigation is still underway as law enforcement continues to process the scene and gather evidence.