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Shooting leaves three dead at state garage

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

JACKSON, Tenn. -- A man opened fire Tuesday at a state Transportation Department maintenance garage, killing his wife and two others, and wounding two, authorities said.

David Jordan, 40, was arrested a short time later, not far from the maintenance garage, after officers followed him, police said. Two officers captured him and found a semiautomatic rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun and two pistols in his truck.

Police gave no motive for the shooting.

Police said Jordan first went to the garage's office, where he shot and killed his 31-year-old wife, Donna, a department employee. Then he walked back outside and killed a deliveryman and a Forestry Department employee who was having some work done on his state vehicle, police said.

The garage is used for maintenance on state vehicles.

Two other men -- department employees Larry Taylor and James Goff -- were shot and wounded. Goff was listed in guarded condition, authorities said.

Jackson Police Chief Rick Staples said Jordan fired one or more of the pistols and the rifle, a cheap Chinese-made knockoff of an AK-47 known as an SKS.

"But he may have had them all (with him)," Staples said. "We'll determine that through the investigation."

Jordan will be charged with at least three counts of homicide and two of attempted homicide, Staples said.

State officials said Donna Jordan had two children of her own and two stepchildren. "Her co-workers say she was pleasure to work with, and she will be missed," department Commissioner Gerry Nicely said.

Forty-nine people work in the garage, which is in a complex of one-story buildings surrounded only by a 6-foot-high chain-link fence. A state driver's license testing center stands about a quarter-mile from the garage.

"We are very, very fortunate that this incident wasn't much worse," department spokeswoman Pamela Marshall said.

State Rep. Johnny Shaw, who represents part of Jackson, referred to the shootings as he led the Tennessee House in prayer on the first day of the legislative session.

"I cannot envision them having a problem that great, that he needed to take her life," Shaw said. "What's even sadder, is that other victims were involved, and the families of those victims who had nothing whatsoever to do with this."


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