3 employees killed in shooting at postal facility in Memphis

Officers allow a police vehicle to pass under yellow crime scene tape on a street in front of the post office in Memphis. Police said they are investigating a shooting at the post office in Tennessee. (AP Photo/Adrian Sainz) (Adrian Sainz, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Three U.S. Postal Service workers who died in a shooting spree at a Tennessee sorting facility included a supervisor, a manager and a letter carrier temporarily assigned to the postal annex, relatives and co-workers said.

Two workers were fatally shot Tuesday by a third who died from a self-inflicted gunshot, authorities said. The FBI and U.S. Postal Service didn’t immediately name those involved.

The postal facility reopened Wednesday, with workers arriving in cars and walking into the building, and red, white and blue vans leaving the fenced-in parking lot to deliver the day’s mail.

Laquita Benjamin, president of the local branch of the National Association of Postal Supervisors, told media outlets that those killed were a carrier, a supervisor and a manager.

“You can’t just relate it to the postal service because you have school shootings, store shootings, you have shootings all over,” Benjamin said.

A family member identified one of the dead as James Wilson, a manager at the East Lamar Carrier Annex in Orange Mound, a historic Memphis neighborhood.

“He was a humble soul, one of the nicest supervising managers you could ever wish there was,” Roxanne Rogers said of Wilson, her cousin.

Rogers, herself a postal worker, said Wilson had just returned to the annex after filling in at a different location.

Melvin Richardson, president of the American Postal Workers Union Local 96, said the annex is only used by employees. Carriers depart from annexes in the morning and staff remain throughout the day with tasks such as sorting mail.

The street in front of the flat-roofed building was closed for hours on Tuesday after the shooting, but traffic was flowing freely on Wednesday.

Floyd Norman said was working on his truck across the street when he heard a commotion and saw people running out of the building. He said he did not hear any gunshots.

“I heard people screaming and hollering, and that’s when I saw the police come up,” said Norman, a 65-year-old retiree who watched the chaotic scene unfold from his front porch.

“It’s just a lot of police, running with shotguns,” said Norman, who has lived in the house for 10 years. “I’ve never seen nothing like that around here,” he said.

Norman said he was not surprised that the mail sorting facility reopened the next day.

“The mail’s got to go out,” Norman said.