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Man Fires Shots In FedEx Facility, Commits Suicide

Bedford Park police and other units surrounded the building and helped employees evacuate
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Police and SWAT teams surrounded the FedEx facility in suburban Bedford Park and evacuated employees after a gunman walked into the building and opened fire on Nov. 17, 2011. (Credit: CBS)

Police and SWAT teams surrounded the FedEx facility in suburban Bedford Park and evacuated employees after a gunman walked into the building and opened fire on Nov. 17, 2011. (Credit: CBS)

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UPDATED 11/17/11 – 4:30 p.m.

BEDFORD PARK, Ill. (CBS) — A gunman walked into a FedEx facility in Beford Park with guns blazing Thursday morning, then committed suicide.

No one else was injured.

Police identified the shooter as Benyamin Robinson, 28, of Chicago. Robinson was the husband of another FedEx employee at the Bedford Park facility, according to witnesses.

As CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reports, the first 911 call came in around 8 a.m. for a disturbance came at the FedEx Home Delivery shipping center at 5151 W. 73rd St. Several other 911 calls about shots being fired at the facility followed.

It’s not clear what led to the shooting. Police would only say that Robinson and his wife had been in a recent domestic dispute.

“He made entry into the building and was … yelling his wife’s name,” Bedford Park Police Chief Daniel Godfrey said.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports

A FedEx employee told WBBM’s Bernie Tafoya that he heard about four shots around 8 a.m..

FedEx worker Altis Kelly said evacuation orders followed.

“About 8 o’clock, I heard a call come over the radio – I’m a lead package handler here at FedEx – and the call was someone brushed past security with the gun, to evacuate the building,” she said.

Robinson’s wife hid in her office during the shooting.

“She kind of hunkered down, I guess, in her office until she was evacuated by law enforcement,” Godfrey said.

While she was trapped inside, dozens of other workers ran for their lives to neighboring businesses like M. Block and Sons.

“My employees were panicking. You know, some of them were crying and stuff,” said an M. Block and Sons manager.

Bedford Park police and other units surrounded the building and helped employees evacuate, police said.

One employee told WBBM Newsradio he heard more shots as he ran out of the building.

“As we were running outside, I heard more shots – maybe about three or four more shots – pop, pop, pop!” he said. “By that time, I didn’t like back, and they were gone. Very scary situation.”

Another man said he had come to the facility for a job interview Thursday, but ran out the door when the shots rang out.

While inside Fedex Ground, Robinson was unable to find his wife, but confronted another employee.

After he opened fire inside, employees said he got into a FedEx truck and forced the driver out at gunpoint. Police said a short time later, he turned the gun on himself.

“Fifth district SWAT was called. They made entry and discovered the shooter inside the vehicle with a self-inflicted gunshot wound,” Godfrey said.

CBS 2’s Kris Habermehl reports the FedEx complex was cordoned off for much of the morning. Armored personnel carriers were sent to the scene, with tactical officers armed with assault rifles and protective gear aboard.

Employees were removed under heavy guard and taken across the street in the armored vehicles, while officers went door-to-door to check every ingress and egress point. They also went back to check every car and truck on the loading dock and in the parking lots surrounding the building.

By 10:45 a.m., employees were back in the building, and the tactical units were preparing to leave the scene.

At Robinson’s home, his father was too distraught to talk, but said through a closed door that his son was a good man.

Robert Buchanan did speak about his lifelong friend.

“Something I didn’t want to hear and I still don’t believe it right now, today. He will be missed,” Buchanan said.

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