Three dead in B.C. workplace shooting

Fired employee returns to office, kills supervisor and man who was replacing him

An employee who had just been fired from a government job went back to the office and opened fire, killing the supervisor who fired him and man who was set to replace him, before turning the gun on himself.

Richard Anderson, 56, was the manager of the pollution prevention branch of the provincial Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection in Kamloops, B.C.. A provincial spokesman initially said Anderson had been fired with cause, but it was later revealed he was presented with a disciplinary letter that morning that could have resulted in his dismissal.

According to media reports, Anderson was in the process of letting staff go because of government cutbacks when he was presented with the letter. Family members said he was upset about having to let staff go.

Stu Cartwright, a federal fisheries department employee in an office across the street from the shooting, told The Province a counsellor had been brought in from Vancouver to talk to Anderson about losing his job. When Anderson returned with his guns in the afternoon, the counsellor fled the ministry offices to the fisheries office across the street, Cartwright said.

Anderson had been employed by the ministry for about 15 years, spending the last six in the Kamloops area in charge of operations in the pollution prevention branch.

For more information on how to handle a crisis in the workplace, click the related articles link below.

Statistics on workplace violence in B.C.

Since 1997 in B.C., the Workers Compensation Board has accepted nearly 6,000 claims due to workplace violence:

•Health care and social assistance: 2,280

•Accommodation: 660

•Provincial government and agencies: 620

•Retail: 610

•Transportation: 480

•Local government: 320

•Education: 230

•Business Services: 130

•Construction: 30

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