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5 dead in Minnesota workplace shooting

12:47 PM, Sep 28, 2012   |    comments
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SWAT crews staging near the location of a workplace shooting in Minneapolis on Thurs., Sept. 27, 2012. (KARE)

MINNEAPOLIS - Family members are confirming that the founder of a Minneapolis sign company is among those dead after a deadly mass shooting Thursday afternoon.

The son-in-law of Reuven Rahamim says the Israeli immigrant was shot to death in the attack at Accent Signage Systems Inc.

Rahamim was Chad Blumenfield's father-in-law. In a Friday statement to The Associated Press, Blumenfield says other members of the Accent Signage family died, but he provided no details.

A UPS driver is also confirmed as one of the shooting fatalities. On Friday UPS Northern Plains District President Jill Schubert released a statement mourning the death of veteran employee Keith Basinski.

"We are profoundly shocked and saddened over this tragic event involving our driver, Keith Basinski. Our deepest sympathies go out to his family and the families of the other victims,"Schubert wrote. "We also pray for the full recovery of others injured in the shooting."

"Keith had been a part of our UPS family for 29 years and we are going to miss him very much."

Four others were rushed to the hospital. Hennepin County Medical Center spokesperson Christine Hill said Friday morning that one of the injured, John Souter, has been upgraded to serious condition. Another patient, Eric Rivers, remains critical. A third person has been treated and released.

Hill says she has no information on the fourth person critically wounded in the shooting.

Current and former employees on the scene told KARE 11 that the shooter was an employee who reportedly was fired earlier in the day. One person says he was a quiet, unusual man who kept to himself.

Police spokesman Sgt. Stephen McCarty said the gunman killed four people and injured four more, three men critically, before turning the gun on himself. Police have not released the gunman's identity or motive.

Early Friday investigators and crews from the Hennepin County Medical Examiners Office could be seen removing bodies of the victims and evidence from the building.

Dozens of police squad cars and SWAT officers swarmed the residential neighborhood on the city's north side after an employee called 911 around 4:30 p.m. to say shots had been fired.

Rahamim is a high profile small business owner who was recently honored by being selected to travel to the White House for a seminar. Accent Signage Systems Inc. manufactures interior signs, including some in braile, for people with disabilities.

The 61-year-old immigrant served in the Israeli Army before coming to the U.S.

Rahamim started Accent Signage Systems in his basement in the 1980s and once told the business publication Finance & Commerce he chose the name Accent because he wanted it to be the first sign company listed in the Yellow Pages.

The company developed a patented method to create Braille signs for the blind.

U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce Francisco Sanchez visited the facility last month and praised it for its innovation.

(KARE Minneapolis)

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