Thursday, January 13, 2005

Man Opens Fire At Estranged Wife's Workplace -- Kills Three

Three people were killed and two injured Tuesday (January 11th) when a man opened fire on his estranged wife inside a Tennessee Department of Transportation maintenance garage, police said. Police arrested the accused shooter, 40-year-old David Lynn Jordan of Jackson, around noon without incident. Police believe it was just a half hour earlier, around 11:31 a.m., when Jordan arrived at the workplace of 31-year-old Donna Renee Jordan and opened fire - killing her inside her office, then killing Jerry W. Hopper, 61, of Enville and David Gordon, 41, of Medina, as he fled the scene.

Hopper was an employee with the Forestry Division of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture for 28 years, while Gordon was a delivery man with HCI Delivery Services. At the time of the shooting, Hopper was having his vehicle serviced and Gordon was believed to be making a delivery, police said. Both men died at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital.
Shot and injured were TDOT garage employees Larry Taylor, 54, of Finger, and James Goff, 53, of Henderson. Taylor was in fair but stable condition and Goff was in guarded condition Tuesday evening, a hospital spokesperson said.

Jordan is being held at the Madison County Criminal Justice Complex on three charges of homicide, though officials are unsure yet whether the charges will be first or second-degree murder. He is also charged with two counts of attempted murder. Police recovered an SKS assault rifle, clips with live ammunition, a 12-gauge shotgun and two semi-automatic handguns from Jordan's red Mazda pickup truck, which was stopped a few miles from TDOT without incident.

Jordan's wife had worked at the TDOT maintenance garage for five years as a clerk and was sitting inside the office when she was killed. She had two children and two stepchildren, officials said.

The couple had a history of domestic calls with the Madison County Sheriff's Department. In September 2000, Jordan was accused of ''poking her'' and ''digging his fingers into her cheeks.'' He was arrested after this incident. In January 2000, the couple accused one another of striking the other but no charges were filed and no arrests made. Staples said there were no orders of protection against Jordan to his knowledge.

TDOT officials said 49 people work in the garage, located just off Interstate 40 as part of a complex of one-story buildings that are surrounded by a chain-link fence with no security. There are 295 employees working on the Jackson campus and a total of 873 employees in the 21-county region area, TDOT officials said. After the shooting, TDOT officials ''locked down'' the facility, and it is unknown when the facility will reopen. In remembrance of Tuesday's victims, flags at all TDOT and Tennessee Department of Agriculture facilities will be flown at half-staff this week. In the coming days, TDOT officials plan to reexamine their security measures, however, officials believe its unlikely they will being employing security officers. TDOT officials have requested the state's special trauma counseling unit to assist employees in coping with the shooting.

The shooting was the first in the department's history and did not specify the type of workplace-violence training employees have had in the past or would participate in in the future. Officials fielding questions from the media Tuesday evening said a visit from an employee's spouse would not have been uncommon or prohibited on the premises.

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