List of postal killings

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This is a list of postal killings for the countries of Australia, Canada, and the United States. These are attacks that resulted in fatalities that have occurred on the properties of postal systems or related issues/events.

The main sections are divided by countries. Events are listed in chronological order.

Australia[edit]

  • December 17, 1926, Adelaide: fired postal worker James Hannivan shot and wounded two employees at Adelaide General Post Office, before committing suicide by shooting himself in the head.[1]
  • December 8, 1987, Queen Street Massacre, Melbourne: Frank Vitkovic, former law student entered an office building on Queen Street at 4:20 p.m. with the intent to murder a former school friend and kill as many people as possible before taking his own life. In the ensuing shooting spree eight people were killed and five injured. At around 4:30 p.m. after the gun was wrestled from him, he jumped to his death from the 11th floor. Vitkovic's friend did not work for a postal department, but for a credit union that was a tenant of the building. Most of the other floors were occupied by the offices of Australia Post and most of the victims were Australia Post office workers.

Canada[edit]

  • October 30, 1934, Quebec: Rosaire Bilodeau, ex carrier of the Quebec postal service, drove five of his family out in the woods, in two trips, and killed them. He then took 8 shots at postmaster Morin, senior mail clerk Moise Jolicoeur, and divisional superintendent Oscar Fiset, killing Jolicoeur.[2]

United States[edit]

  • August 19, 1983, Johnston, South Carolina: Perry Smith, a resigned USPS employee, charged into a postal office with a 12-gauge shotgun and began firing at workers in a hall, killing the postmaster and wounding two other employees.[3]
  • December 2, 1983, Anniston, Alabama: James Brooks (age fifty-three) entered into the Anniston, Alabama, post office with a .38 caliber pistol and killed the postmaster and shot and injured his immediate supervisor. Subsequent to killing the postmaster, James Brooks ran up the stairs of the building pursuing his supervisor and shooting him twice.[4]
  • March 6, 1985, Atlanta, Georgia: Steven Brownlee, with 12 years of service, opened fire on the night shift in the Atlanta, Georgia, main post office with a .22 caliber pistol and killed a supervisor and a coworker, including wounding a third coworker in a mail sorting area.[4]
  • November 15, 1985, Manitou, Oklahoma: Forrest Albert (F.A) Reffner (Age 39) entered the Manitou Post Office to check his elderly mother's mail when, Arvell "Pete" Conner (Age 74) entered the post office armed with a .38 caliber, then began an argument with Reffner. Pete Conner then shot & killed Reffner inside the main post office.
  • August 20, 1986, Edmond, Oklahoma: Patrick Sherrill, a part-time letter carrier, entered the Edmond Postal Office and fatally shot 14 employees and wounded six. He subsequently committed suicide.
  • December 14, 1988, New Orleans, Louisiana: Warren Murphy, entered into the New Orleans, Louisiana, postal facility with a 12-gauge shotgun hidden under his clothing. Later during his work shift, after an incident with a supervisor, he reportedly went to the men's room and came out brandishing the shotgun. He then fatally shot his supervisor in the face. The fired shot reportedly wounded two other employees. After the shooting, he held his ex-girlfriend hostage. Later two FBI SWAT agents reportedly were wounded upon finding Warren Murphy in a supervisor's office. He eventually surrendered to the agents.[4]
  • August 10, 1989, Escondido, California: John Merlin Taylor killed his wife, then two colleagues and himself at Orange Glen post office.
  • October 10, 1991: Ex-postal worker Joseph M. Harris killed his ex-supervisor and her boyfriend at their home in Wayne, New Jersey, then killed two former colleagues as they arrived at the Ridgewood, New Jersey post office where they all previously worked. According to "Today in Rotten History," Harris was initially armed with an Uzi, grenades, and "samurai sword" and was later arrested after a 4½ hour standoff with police, garbed in a ninja's outfit and gas mask. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to death.
  • November 14, 1991, Royal Oak, Michigan: fired postal worker Thomas McIlvane killed four, wounded five, and killed himself.
  • June 3, 1992, Citrus Heights, California: Roy Barnes, a 60 year old employee, went to the workroom floor at the Citrus Heights post office, armed with a .22 caliber pistol, and fatally shot himself in the heart in front of his coworkers.[4]
  • May 6, 1993, Dearborn, Michigan: Postal worker Larry Jasion killed one, wounded three, then killed himself at a post office garage.
  • December 1, 1993, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: James A. Paulano postal employee accidentally killed in drive by shooting.
  • March 21, 1995, Montclair, New Jersey: Christopher Green, a former postal employee, killed four people (including two employees) and wounded a fifth at the Fairfield Street branch post office. While this is a postal killing, the primary motivation appears to have been debt payment, and there was no indication that the former employee was mentally disturbed as a result of his former postal work.[6]
  • July 10, 1995, City of Industry, California: Bruce Clark, current employee and a postal clerk with 25 years employment with the USPS, subsequent to an argument, punched his supervisor in the back of the head at the City of Industry, California, mail processing center and left the work area. About ten minutes later, he returned to the work area with a brown paper bag in his hand. Upon being asked by his supervisor what was in the bag, he reportedly pulled out a .38 revolver and at close range fatally shot the supervisor twice, once in the upper body and once in the face. Two employees reportedly took the gun away from Bruce Clark and held him until police arrived. Seventy-five postal employees reportedly witnessed the shooting.[4]
  • December 19, 1996, Las Vegas, Nevada: Charles Jenning, former employee, went to the parking lot at the Las Vegas, Nevada, postal facility and shot and killed a labor relations specialist. Mr. Jennings reportedly indicated in his statement to investigators that the labor relations specialist struggled to take the gun away from him and was shot in the process.[4]
  • September 2, 1997, Miami Beach, Florida: 21-year postal employee Jesus Antonio Tamayo shoots ex-wife and friend, whom he saw waiting in line, then killed himself.
  • December 20, 1997, Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Anthony Deculit killed coworker, wounded supervisor and another coworker with a 9mm pistol before killing himself.
  • April 4, 2006, Baker City, Oregon: Grant Gallaher, letter carrier of 13 years, while on duty in Baker City, Oregon, reportedly went home and got his .357 Magnum revolver and drove to the city post office with the intention of killing the postmaster. Arriving at the parking lot, he reportedly ran over his supervisor several times. Subsequently he went into the post office looking for the postmaster. Not finding the postmaster, he returned to the parking lot and shot his supervisor several times at close range, ostensibly to ensure she was dead. He reportedly then fired three bullets in the windshield of her car and three more in the hood.[4]
  • November 28, 2006, San Francisco, California: Kevin Tartt, age 39, with 18 years of service, employed at the Napoleon Street Carrier Annex in San Francisco, went to his supervisor's residence, armed with a revolver and shot her in the back of the head outside her house. He then reportedly left the scene and fatally shot himself in the head with the same gun the next day. Early in the investigation, homicide investigators were reportedly looking at links between disputes between Julius Tartt and his supervisor, including what one police official referred to as a discipline issue. One of the homicide officials stated that there were indications that Julius Tartt was dissatisfied with work and with the supervisor. During the timeframe of the tragedy, he was absent from work and had called in sick the previous day.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Postal employee runs amok, Northern Territory Times and Gazette (December 21, 1926)
  2. ^ Family Herald and Weekly Star, October 31, 1934, p. 48.
  3. ^ AlterNet: MediaCulture: EXCERPT: Breaking Down at the Post Office
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Musacco, Stephen: Beyond Going Postal. BookSurge Publishing 2009, ISBN 978-1439220757
  5. ^ "Ex-Postal Carrier Sentenced in Deadly Rampage". Los Angeles Times. January 15, 1997. 
  6. ^ "DEATH IN THE POST OFFICE: THE OVERVIEW; Former Montclair Postal Worker Charged With Killings in Robbery". New York Times. March 23, 1995. 
  7. ^ <http://articles.latimes.com/2006/feb/02/local/me-postal2>
  8. ^ "Seven dead in California postal shooting". CNN. January 31, 2006. 
  9. ^ "US ex-postal employee kills six". BBC News. January 31, 2006. 
  10. ^ ABC News: ABC News