Fla. Shooter Was Broke, Angry at Company

Engineer, now working at Subway, says firm 'left me to rot'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 7, 2009 6:44 AM CST

(Newser) – Jason Rodriguez, the Orlando engineer taken into custody after a shooting spree that left one former coworker dead and five wounded, told detectives he blamed the firm that fired him for recent trouble he had receiving unemployment benefits. As officers led him handcuffed into a police station, a reporter asked the divorced 40-year-old why he had attacked his former colleagues. "Because they left me to rot," said Rodriguez.

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The shooting suspect recently told a bankruptcy judge he was making less than $30,000 a year at a Subway sandwich shop and had debts of nearly $90,000. All the victims worked at the firm of Reynolds, Smith and Hills, where Rodriguez was an entry-level engineer for 11 months before he was fired in June 2007. "I'm just going through a tough time right now. I'm sorry," he told officers as they were handcuffing him. Last week, his 8-year-old son reported, Rodriguez, asked why he didn't come visit, said, "'Because I don't have any money. I don't have a job. I don't have anything to eat. When things get better, I'll come see you.'" (Read more Jason Rodriguez stories.)

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