California quarry shootings leave three dead

Shootings at a limestone quarry in Cupertino, Calif., have left three people dead and seven injured, including some in critical condition, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Shareef Allman, 49, a heavy equipment operator at Lehigh Southwest Cement Co., shot nine coworkers at a safety meeting at the quarry early Wednesday morning, Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith said at a press conference. Allman had seemed upset and left the meeting, then returned with a handgun and rifle and started shooting people, Santa Clara County Sheriff's Lt. Rick Sung said, according to CBS News.

Two people died at the scene and a third died at the hospital.

After fleeing the scene, Allman apparently attempted to carjack a woman’s vehicle near Hewlett-Packard Co.'s Cupertino campus, shooting and injuring the woman, CBS News reports. He then fled on foot.

Allman was still on the loose in the early afternoon, and authorities had instructed students in local schools as well as employees at Apple, which is headquartered in Cupertino, to remain indoors, CBS News reports.

SWAT teams, search dogs and helicopters were dispatched to hunt for Allman, the San Jose Mercury News reports. Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith said that deputies were in contact with Allman’s family and that a surveillance camera had gotten pictures of him, the L.A. Times reports. “We know he is armed," she said.

Friends and neighbors of the suspected gunman told the press they were shocked at the news.

Allman was "spreading the word on non-violence," Suzanne St. John-Crane, executive director of CreatTV, where Allman produced a community TV show called "Real 2 Real,” told the San Jose Mercury News. “He was a mediator. He's just a person that would try to resolve conflict. I just can't believe it."

Mitchell Julien told the L.A. Times that he knew Allman as a “a highly spiritual guy.” Allman was “concerned about issues in the black community,” Julien said. “He was trying to uplift us as a people…. I’m totally blown away. He was always uplifiting. If you meet him, you’d love him. He was not violent. He was a lovable kind of guy…. Something really bad had to have happened up there for him to do this.”