For the second time in two days, a fatal shooting grabbed national headlines, this time hitting the construction and engineering community. In the late morning of Friday, Nov. 6, Jason Rodriguez, a former employee of Reynolds, Smith & Hills, allegedly shot five and killed one current employee at the engineering firm's offices in downtown Orlando, Fla. You can view a video of Sgt. Barbara Jones of the Orlando Police Department being interviewed about the fatal shooting here.
“Clearly, this has been a sad day for the close family at RS&H,” said Mike Bernos, RS&H spokesman in Jacksonville, Fla., told a reporter for Southeast Construction and Engineering News-Record. “We’re saddened by the event. Our greatest concern is for our associates in the Orlando office.” You can read the ENR report here.
Neither Bernos nor the City of Orlando could confirm if all of the victims were RS&H employees. Orlando Police apprehended Rodriguez later Friday at his mother’s Orlando apartment. As Rodriguez was taken into custody at Orlando Police Department headquarters, he told reporters, asking why he did it, “They left me to rot.” You can view a video of Rodriguez being taken into custody here.
Bernos says that Rodriguez worked for RS&H for about one year as an entry-level engineer in the company’s transportation division, before being released in July 2007 for performance issues. “His work was not up to our standards,” Bernos says. “We have had no contact with him since that time.”
Rodriguez had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
RS&H is based in Jacksonville, Fla., and is ranked 81st on ENR's list of Top 500 Design Firms, with $150 million in 2008 revenue, 74% of the revenue in transportation. The company was ranked 9th on Southeast Construction's recently published Top Design Firms listing, with $104.8 million in 2008 revenue from the four-state Southeast region. Again, you can read the full ENR report here.
Our hearts go out to RS&H's Orlando employees and their families.