Phoenix office shooting: Employees return to work day after attack in building

PHOENIX - A day after a deadly office shooting in Phoenix , rattled employees got back to work.

There were mixed emotions. Some were shocked, some were scared, and at least one person was angry to learn the alleged shooter was dead.

Arthur Douglas Harmon, 70, shot three people at their office building Wednesday morning near 16th Street and Glendale Avenue.

"You don't think it'll happen in a place where you feel safe most of the time," said Eron Walsh, as she walked back into the office building where it happened.

There's no more threat from the suspect. Police confirmed a body found at Mesa Riverview was that of the shooting suspect.

Despite that, the terrifying moments replay over and over again for some. 

Walsh works on the second floor. She said her balcony faces the area where people were shot.

"(An) employee was just coming up the elevator," she said. "He warned us as soon as the first shot went off. We have an IT service closet so all of us ran in there," Walsh said. "We didn't know if it was someone coming in to do harm to just anybody or if he had a target."

According to Tommy Thompson with Phoenix police, he was going after a man who was in pending litigation with him. 

Steve Singer was killed in the shooting. Singer's attorney Mark Hummels was also shot and taken to the hospital in critical condition.

He died Thursday night, according to his law firm.

A third victim was in the wrong place at the wrong time. She was shot in the hand and is expected to be OK, Thompson said.

Although they were not physically hurt, there were a number of other victims who said they were emotionally scarred. 

"I'm scared, scared and worried about it," said Lorrie Fancher, a nurse in the building, who left an hour before the shooting to visit patients in the field. 

Fancher said she was told not to return to work the day the shooting happened. The building was on lockdown as the SWAT team searched for the suspect. 

Early Thursday, Fancher headed back into work with fear.

"Is he done?" Fancher said she was afraid Harmon would come back. Overnight, police warned the public that he was still on the loose and considered armed and dangerous.

Although it appeared as though it was business as usual from the outside, people inside said the focus was moving forward.

Some companies brought in counselors to help employees cope. Priests from a local church offered victims an ear.

The owner of a therapy business brought one of his therapy dogs around to comfort anyone who was distressed.

Walsh said she planned to talk to a counselor. "It's still surreal. It makes you understand that it can happen anywhere."

Mark James was also returning to work. After learning that the suspect had killed himself, James said he was angry.

"Easy way to get out of it and not be able to pay for what he did," James said. "Coward."

Print this article Back to Top

Comments