Tennessee.- Postal workers returned to work Wednesday after a shooting that left three dead at a post office in Memphis, Tennessee, where a colleague said the pandemic is increasing stress for service employees across the country.
Two employees were shot and killed Tuesday by a third who subsequently committed suicide, authorities said. Neither the FBI nor the Postal Service immediately released the names of those involved or a motive.
The office in the Orange Mound neighborhood reopened hours after the bodies were removed. Employees entered the building and vans came out to deliver the day’s mail.
Shri Green, vice president of the National Association of Postal Supervisors in the area, told the Associated Press that a postman shot dead a manager and his supervisor. Green said he did not know why, but that “obviously something was going on in the mind of the postman.”
Green, a retired postal transportation manager, said the coronavirus pandemic has caused absences from work and the hiring of people unfamiliar with the service, causing more stress among workers.
“It’s a sign of the times,” Green said of the incident. “The entire postal service is working long hours, six or seven days a week. It’s stressful.”
The service has also come under pressure under CEO Louis DeJoy, appointed by President Donald Trump whose changes in operations caused long delays in deliveries as millions of citizens were voting by mail in the 2020 presidential election.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is tracking the weapon used in the shooting and will submit the data to the National Ballistics Network to see if it appears in other incidents, spokesman Michael Knight said in an email to the AP. .
On Tuesday, a relative identified one of the deceased as James Wilson, one of the managers at the East Lamar distribution center in the Orange Mound neighborhood of Memphis.
“He was a caring soul, one of the kindest managers you could ever meet,” said Roxanne Rogers, a cousin.