Motive baffles UPS workplace shooting survivor

Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A San Francisco UPS driver recovering from a gunshot wound said Monday he does not understand why colleague Jimmy Lam shot him and killed three fellow workers at a company warehouse last week but does not believe the driver had reason to feel disrespected, which police have suggested as a possible motive.

A San Francisco Police Department official has said Lam appears to have felt disrespected by co-workers but did not know if that motivated the shooting that left Lam dead and another driver with a gunshot wound. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity because the officer was not authorized to speak publicly about the investigation.

But the three drivers who were killed Wednesday were known as kind and helpful among co-workers and clients, wounded driver Alvin Chen told The Associated Press in an interview. It would have been out of character for them to single anyone out for disrespect, he added.

"I'm heartbroken. I can't understand why this happened," Chen said, breaking into tears.

Killed in the shooting were Wayne Chan, 56; Benson Louie, 50; and Mike Lefiti, 46.

Chen said he was close friends with Chan and Louie and hung out with them at work and during off-hours. He knew of no animosity between them and Lam.

On the Monday before the shooting Chen said he had a friendly chat with Lam about their routes. Lam said nothing that was out of the ordinary, Chen said.

The day of the shooting started like any other work day, Chen said, with drivers doing warm-up stretches and listening to company announcements before they were supposed to climb into their trademark brown UPS trucks for the day.

Standing with Chan and Louie, Chen heard a pop like a firecracker, which he thought was a prank. A second pop happened and he suddenly experienced pain, looked down and saw blood on his leg.

Chen was treated for his leg wound and released from the hospital the day of the shooting and is not sure when he might return to work.

"I keep dreaming every night when I close my eyes, that moment. It's really scary, I can tell you," he said. "And you don't want it to happen next to you and around you. It's a very, very bad experience."