Police call workplace shooting in Morgan Hill 'spontaneous'

MORGAN HILL, Calif. (KGO) -- A community is searching for answers after a devastating workplace murder-suicide shooting Tuesday that claimed the lives of three people.

One day after the tragedy, Morgan Hill Police released new information about the deadly event at The Ford Store on Condit Rd. Investigations say the gunman, Steven Leel, 60, had been fired from his job in the parts department. He returned a short time later, killing two of his supervisors, Xavier Souto, 38, and Brian Light, 59, before turning the gun on himself.

RELATED: Police ID suspect, victims in deadly shooting at Morgan Hill dealership

"Kind of shattering to the people that live here to know that these things are happening," said Morgan Hill resident Debra Laflin. "So sad that this happened... we're just praying for the families involved."

Police revealed Souto was shot at point blank range. Investigators say Light tried to fight the gunman, but was shot multiple times. They believe his heroism likely saved more people from being hurt.

"We all go to work, we all have an expectation to be able to go home at the end of the shift," said Police Chief David Swing. "For those that are in crisis, there's help available through the suicide crisis hotline, (and) there's help available by texting CONNECT to 741741."

"We are devastated by this terrible loss," said Tim Paulus, president of The Ford Store Morgan Hill, in a statement released Wednesday morning. "Thank you to the Morgan Hill community who has come together with us during this extremely difficult time."

RELATED: 3 people killed, including suspect, in shooting at Ford dealership in Morgan Hill

Police say the gunman has no prior criminal history, and legally possessed his firearms. At this point, they do not believe the murders were pre-meditated.

"We're taking it very hard right now," said Mayor Rich Constantine. "We're going to be looking at what happened... if there's anything, any steps to help make our citizens safer."
Copyright © 2019 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.