Ala. Shooter Trained to Be a Cop

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 11, 2009 12:36 PM CDT
With a toy truck and a scooter seen in the foreground, law enforcement officials from across the state investigate one of the crime scenes of a shooting rampage in Samson, Ala.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Authorities say the Alabama gunman who killed 10 people and himself in a rampage yesterday had once trained as a police officer. Michael McLendon, 28, briefly went through officer training in 2003, but didn't complete the requirements to join the force. Investigators still aren't sure what led McLendon to go on the shooting spree in south Alabama. "He cleaned his family out," said one official.

The spree lasted only about an hour, and by the time it was over, his grandmother, uncle, mother, and a cousin were among the victims. A sausage manufacturer and distributor located about 25 miles away from where the shootings happened said McLendon had been working there since 2007, but quit last Wednesday. The plant didn't specify what McLendon's job was, but said in a statement today that he was a "reliable team leader" who was well liked.