Newspaper employee shoots down colleagues

Monday, June 10, 2002

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- A newspaper employee who killed two co-workers and wounded another had recently complained that his colleagues were pressuring him to join the union, a family friend said Sunday.

Carlos Pacheco, a 20-year employee at The Providence Journal's production facility, had cried this week about his job and said three men at work were taunting him, said Patricia Bogacz, Pacheco's former sister-in-law.

Family members said Pacheco, 38, died Saturday inside his burned-out car a few blocks from the suburban Providence home of Matthew Fandetti, one of his three victims. State officials said they couldn't positively identify the body in the car until an autopsy was completed.

Fandetti, 29, was found shot to death in his home. Police said Pacheco was off-duty at 9:30 a.m. Saturday when he walked into the Journal's production facility and killed his supervisor, Robert Benetti, 38. He then left the building and shot co-worker Charles Johnson in the face. Police found Fandetti's body about two hours later.

Wounded worker

Johnson, 30, was released from the hospital Sunday. He declined requests for interviews at the hospital and no one was at his house Sunday.

The car that family members say Pacheco had proudly bought a month earlier had been doused with an accelerant, and a handgun was found inside, police said.

Pacheco, who worked as an inserter at the production plant for about 20 years, loved his job, but may have received recent pressure to join the newspaper's union, Bogacz said.

"He went to work every day, loved his job, loved life, he loved his nieces and nephews," Bogacz said. "Everybody's devastated."

Eric Reynolds, an inserter at the plant who had known Pacheco for 18 years and described him as a "good, quiet guy, told The Associated Press that there is a culture of good-natured ribbing among employees at the plant.

But if Pacheco were disturbed by any teasing, he would never had told anyone, Reynolds said.

"Somewhere along the line, he just flipped out," Reynolds said.

The Teamsters organized five years ago at the Journal's production facility, one of three unions representing production employees and drivers. Frank A. Manfredi, president of Teamsters Local 64, denied that anyone had pressured Pacheco.

Local 64 official Richard Bergeron said that while Pacheco was not a union member, he was required to pay 92 percent of union dues. More than 90 percent of eligible Teamsters were in the Journal's union, which signed a new five-year contract in January, he said.

"The suspect was a model employee," Bergeron said. "He never had a warning. The stewards have never said he had a complaint, a grievance, an issue."

Officials couldn't say whether Benetti, Fandetti and Johnson all belonged to the union.

Scott Baradell, spokesman for Belo Corp., the Dallas-based parent company of The Providence Journal, said he would not release information about the employees involved, or offer any comment relating to the police investigation or a possible motive.

Pacheco called 911 three times after leaving the production facility Saturday, one time saying he had shot two people, state police told The Providence Journal in Sunday editions.

Pacheco also asked to speak to a detective who had pulled him over earlier this week for an apparent traffic violation, police said. Minutes after his third call, police received the report that a car was on fire in the parking lot of a Warwick manufacturing company.


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