CLEVELAND — A gunman opened fire at a westside Cleveland factory, killing two people. Minutes later, police arrested him.
Cleveland police identify the gunman as 50-year-old Pedro Rodriguez, of Cleveland. They say this past July, his ex-girlfriend had filed a menacing by stalking report against him. Police say on Friday afternoon, he killed her in the parking of the plant, then went inside and opened fire again.
Employees of ParkOhio Products call for help after a gunman opens fire on the plant at West 70th and Denison Avenue in Cleveland.
"I heard three gunshots coming from that end of the parking lot and the guy came this way to go into the building, our shift manager ran in and there was another sitting there that I grabbed, and we came to the stairwell and I called the cops," said employee Eddie Quinones, who witnessed the shooting.
Officials said at around 1:15 p.m. Friday, Rodriguez gunned down his ex-girlfriend, 46-year-old Graciela Morales, in the parking lot. She died inside her SUV.
Then, investigators say he used her employee ID card to get inside the plant. That's when police say he sought out and shot to death, 49-year-old Eduardo Pupo. Morales' sister and niece say Eduardo was her stepson.
"She was a person loved and everybody loved her, she had her ways, but she was always happy," said the victim's niece Cassandra Morales.
Witnesses say after hearing the gunshots, employees scrambled to get out of the factory.
"By the time we got to the stairwell, we seen him coming back out with the gun still in his hand, he got in his car and he sped out of here, he went flying out of here real quick," said Quinones.
"After a brief pursuit, the suspect was apprehended in the area of West 35th and Denison...during his apprehension, he was tased and placed under arrest and the weapon was found with him," said Cleveland police spokesman Sgt. Sammy Morris.
ParkOhio issued a statement Friday that reads:
"We are shocked and saddened by this tragic and senseless incident. Our thoughts and prayers go out to our colleagues and their families. The health and safety of our family of employees is of utmost concern and following the incident we immediately suspended operations at the facility. While law enforcement officials continue to investigate, it is inappropriate for us to comment further about the specifics of this situation. When it is appropriate for us to do so, we will provide additional information."
ParkOhio Products Inc. is a manufacturing company which provides rubber, silicone and plastic molded components to several different industrial markets.
A spokesperson for the Cuyahoga County Coroner's Office said it is working on an official cause of death for the victims. Autopsies are scheduled for Saturday.
Pedro Rodriguez has not been charged.
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