DISGRUNTLED security guard shoots and kills four former co-workers in Sacramento, police say

Sunday, September 9th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) _ A suspended security guard fatally shot four former co-workers on Saturday, then handcuffed a fifth guard before fleeing in her car, police said.

Joseph Ferguson, 20, of Sacramento, remained at large early Sunday and was believed to be heavily armed and possibly wearing body armor, said Sacramento Police spokesman Sgt. Daniel Hahn.

Ferguson was believed to be driving a green car stolen from the former co-worker who was handcuffed at the Sacramento Zoo around 1:30 a.m., Hahn said. She was unharmed.

The four shooting victims were riddled with gunshot wounds, Hahn said. Police found AK-47, shotgun and 9-mm rounds near the victims.

Ferguson was suspended for unknown reasons last week from his job with Burns Security, Hahn said.

Police said he made a series of calls to former co-workers Saturday night and threatened to kill them. He also allegedly made death threats to club- and movie-goers in the city's busy Old Sacramento district.

At about 11:20 p.m., police responding to a shots-fired call at a city equipment yard found two dead people, both female Burns security guards in uniform.

Shortly thereafter they found two male victims at the Miller Park Marina about 10 miles north. One of the men was in uniform and the other was not, but both were believed to be Burns employees, Hahn said.

``At this time we don't know the motive for the shooting. We don't know if he knew the victims or what,'' Hahn said.

Police surrounded a parking garage after a reported sighting of Ferguson about 2 1/2 hours after the shootings, but the effort turned up empty-handed.

Authorities continued to search downtown Sacramento for Ferguson early Sunday. They identified him as a 6-foot-tall white male, about 150 pounds, possibly armed with handguns, rifles and a shotgun.

The shootings come three weeks after Nikolay Soltys, 27, allegedly slashed his pregnant wife's throat, then killed his aunt and uncle and their two 9-year-old grandchildren in Sacramento. Authorities say he fled with his son, who was found dead in a cardboard box a day later.

He was later caught and charged with murder.