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Thursday, August 5, 1999 Published at 23:51 GMT 00:51 UK

World: Americas

Alabama gunman kills three

Alan Eugene Miller: Arrested after a high speed chase

A gunman has shot dead three people in two offices in Alabama, in a chilling echo of last week's Atlanta massacre.

The suspect, named as Alan Eugene Miller, 34, has been charged with three counts of murder.

Police say the motive for the shootings is unclear.

The BBC's Gavin Hewitt reports recent polls indicate a mood for stricter gun control
The suspect was arrested in Pelham, south of Birmingham, Alabama, after a high speed police chase along Interstate 65. Police said a gun was found in his car.

Police Chief Allan Wade said the first two victims were shot dead at Ferguson Enterprises, a plumbing company where Mr Miller worked.

The gunman reportedly opened fire after walking into the office at around 7am. The victims were identified as Lee Holbrooks, 32, and Christopher Yancy, 28.

Police were still securing the crime scene when emergency services received a call about a second shooting at Post Airgas Inc, a gas company several miles away.


The third victim, Terry Jarvis, 39, was found at Post Airgas.

Local journalist Scott Flannigan: Gunman killed his boss
Mr Wade said Miller was a former employee at Post Airgas.

Local television stations reported that the suspect had been sacked from Ferguson Enterprises and that one of the people he shot was his former boss.

Mr Miller lived in Billingsley, a rural town 50 miles south of Pelham.

His mother, Barbara Miller, said her son had gone off to work as normal.

"He left here like he always does, with a 7-Up, a couple of biscuits and a sausage. Alan didn't bother anybody."

Atlanta rampage

The incident is the latest in a series of mass shootings across the United States.

It happened just a week after disgruntled stock market day trader Mark Barton bludgeoned his wife and two children to death and then went on a shooting rampage at two Atlanta brokerages.

Nine people were killed during one of the worst office massacres in US history.

Fred Herder, a day trader who had worked with Barton and was wounded in the rampage, found the Pelham shootings a troubling echo of Atlanta.

"It's really frightening that all of a sudden that someone is copying this," he said. "I can't believe some idiot has started to copy it."

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