MORGAN HILL, Calif. (KTVU) - Grief counselors will be at the Ford Store in Morgan Hill on Thursday as it reopens following Tuesday night’s workplace shooting. Police identified the suspect as a 60-year-old employee who had been fired before he killed two managers and then himself.
Co-workers of the slain victims said they are processing how they're going to come to work Thursday. Police call it a spontaneous act of violence that claimed the lives of two fathers. One of them is being credited as a hero because his actions gave people time to escape.
Outside the Ford Store in Morgan Hill, Technician Shane Marquez placed a bouquet of flowers in honor of his two co-workers gunned down in a workplace confrontation he called surreal.
“It’s just heartbreaking,” said Marquez. “They are family guys. They are personable, very nice, outgoing people.”
The victims have been identified as 38-year-old Xavier Souto. He was the parts manager with the Ford Store since 2012. He’s a father of two and engaged.
The other victim 59-year-old Brian Light, a father of two sons recruited to the store last year from Sunnvale Ford. He was known as a mentor.
“Our hearts are grieving with you today,” said Morgan Hill Mayor Rich Constantine.
Police said 60-year-old Steven Leet, who worked under Souto and Light at the Parts counter, shot and killed them after being given the news he was being let go.
Leet had been with the company for eight years. He learned of his termination at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.
Police said Leet went to his car and returned 20 minutes later. He met with the two supervisors and then shot Souto point black with a .38-caliber revolver. Brian Light fought with Leet and was shot twice.
“Brian’s actions are nothing short of heroic,” said Chief David Swing of Morgan Hill Police. “Those actions allowed people to flee, allowed them the precious seconds they needed to flee after hearing the first shot”
When police arrived, they heard a gunshot. Police said it was Leet taking his life in the parking lot. They later recovered a second handgun on him.
“They found no evidence of preplanning, motive, or why this incident would occur,” said Chief Swing. “It appears it was a spontaneous act resulting in the loss of two men.”
Police searched Leet’s San Jose home and seized 12 firearms all registered in his name. Police said he was single and had no prior criminal history.
“We don't know what people are battling on the inside, it's hard to say what could have prevented any of this,” said Brian Light’s Former Colleague Kimberly Booth.
Employees said other than typical workplace frustration, they saw no signs Leet would snap.
“I’m just speechless, it's so senseless,” said Marquez. “It’s going to take some time for all of us to recover.”
Community Christian Church is hosting a candlelight vigil Thursday night for the victims. A Go Fund Me page set up by The Ford Store has raised nearly $20,000.