Two people have been killed and another two wounded after a shooting incident on Friday morning at a government building in Winston-Salem, N.C., in what police are calling a “workplace violence incident” between two city workers who had an ongoing issue with each other.
Officers were called to the scene of a municipal building on Lowry street around 6:37 a.m. and came in contact with the gunman, a city employee named Steven Dewayne Haizlip, and a gunfight ensued, according to Winston-Salem Police Chief Catrina Thompson. Haizlip was killed and an officer was injured.
Haizlip had already shot and killed the city worker that he had problems with, Terry Lee Cobb Jr., Chief Thompson said, adding that Haizlip specifically targeted Cobb Jr. Thompson said there appeared to be no other intended targets in the shooting.
Along with the injured officer, another city employee was injured and transported to the hospital with a serious but non-life-threatening gunshot wound. Authorities declined to name him.
“I hope that our citizens have prepared for this and other acts of violence, such as active shooter threats,” Chief Thompson said at a press conference. “For years the city of Winston-Salem have prepared its employees for incidents of this nature because they have become so prevalent across our country.”
Police Captain Steven Tolly said that the two employees were “long term co-workers” and that authorities are not aware of the source of the issues between the two.
Tolly added that some kind of altercation happened on Thursday between the two but it went unreported and it’s believed that that incident led to the shooting. He also said that Haizlip brought weapons to the building.
The Associated Press spoke with a sanitation worker, Dwight Black, who says he was entering the building when people ran out past him.
“They’re shooting. Run!,” Black said people told him, according to the AP. “I didn’t know what was happening so I just kind of got out of the way until I could ascertain what was going on,” he said.
There was a large police presence outside the building afterward, the AP reported.
In an email sent to all city employees, Lee Garrity, the city manager, shared the news and expressed his condolences for the victims.
“I cannot express adequately how saddening it is to have something like this happen within our city family,” the email read. “Please keep these employees involved in this incident, and their families, in your thoughts and prayers.”
Correction, Dec. 20
The original version of this story misspelled Steven Dewayne Haizlip’s name. It is Haizlip, not Hizlip.