Slain victims of Ford workplace shooting remembered at vigil

More than 200 people showed up for a somber vigil Thursday night in Morgan Hill to remember the two managers gunned down by a disgruntled employee at the Ford Store. The vigil was held at the Downtown Morgan Hill Amphitheater roughly two miles away from the dealership.

Grief-stricken family members and friends of 38-year-old Xavier Souto was surrounded by the Morgan Hill community to comfort and mourn with them. Morgan Hill Police Chaplain Mike Burchfield expressed the sadness everyone felt.

“My time with one of the families, the Souto family, I can just say the shock of their loss and the depth of grief is indescribable,” said Burchfield.

Two days prior, Xavier Souto, a parts manager at the Ford Store in Morgan Hill and his boss, Ford Service Director 59-year-old Brian Light were killed in a workplace confrontation.

Police said 60-year-old Steven Leet, who worked at parts counter, shot his supervisors after learning he was being fired. He then took his own life.

 “To the family of the Ford Store Morgan Hill, we are grieving with you not at your level of depth but we certainly grieve of your loss as well, two friends, two co-workers,” said Morgan Hill Police Chief David Swing.

Kevin Larson, a vendor for the Ford dealership, worked closely with victim Brian Light for years. He said going to the Ford Store was difficult not seeing him or Souto at work. He’s not surprised police calling light's actions heroic for confronting the gunman when he shot Souto.

“That’s who Brian is, he thinks of others first,” said Larson.

Both victims described as family men. Brian Light leaves behind two grown sons and Souto who was engaged leaves behind two children. Clyde Pineda knew Souto from a martial arts studio in San Jose where Souto's son trains.

“When he was at the karate studio, he made sure his son got everything he needs,” said Pineda.
City leaders said the tragic shooting is not the norm in Morgan Hill and the tragedy will not define the small town.