Workers shot at business that employs disabled

Friday, January 12, 2007

INDIANAPOLIS -- A man shot and wounded four co-workers Thursday at a factory that employs disabled people, telling police he did it "over respect," authorities said. Two men and two women were taken to hospitals with injuries not considered life-threatening, Lt. Douglas Scheffel said. Jason Burnam, 24, was arrested inside the company cafeteria, where he was standing with a .380-caliber handgun next to a vending machine, police chief Michael Spears said. Burnam told officers he had targeted the victims and said "it was over respect," Scheffel said. Police did not elaborate. Burnam was charged with four counts of attempted murder and one count of carrying a handgun without a license.

Burnam's mother, Judy Burnam, said that her son was taking medication for bipolar disorder and that he had told her he was being teased at work. She advised him to ignore the teasing and said he seemed fine when she dropped him off for work in the morning.

"I thought he was getting past it," she said.

Crossroads Industrial Services, a division of an Easter Seals program, has about 100 employees who do light manufacturing, such as making identification tags for military vehicles under a contract with the Army, said Candy Morrison, director of marketing.

About 85 percent of Crossroads workers have physical or mental disabilities, Morrison said.

The victims were identified as Howard Mallory, 53; Jermaine Ealy, 29; Cammie Duncan, 38; and Anita Frazen, 52. All were shot at least once in the leg or arm. Ealy was shot twice.

Easter Seals is a not-for-profit group that assists more than 1 million people with physical and mental disabilities a year.

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