ALBUQUERQUE — A former employee opened fire at an Albuquerque fiber optics manufacturer yesterday, killing two people and wounding four others before turning his gun on himself in what police called a domestic violence dispute.
The shooting at Emcore Corp. appeared to involve the 37-year-old gunman’s girlfriend, Police Chief Ray Schultz said. It was not immediately clear whether she was among the dead.
Chaos unfolded as the gunman opened fire, sending employees fleeing for cover as police locked down the neighborhood. Police were alerted to the shooting shortly before 9:30 a.m. Five officers were inside the building within three minutes, Schultz said.
The Emcore campus was surrounded by police cars, many arriving with sirens wailing, as helicopters circled overhead.
The chief called the Emcore campus “a very secure facility’’ and said it appeared the gunman forced his way into the building and entered several areas. Schultz said detectives and FBI agents were reviewing surveillance video.
Schultz said one victim who confronted the gunman was found dead outside the building. The other victims included the gunman, who was found inside, and a person who died at University Hospital.
The gunman carried a handgun, and investigators were trying to determine if there were additional weapons. No victims’ names have been released, and an investigation was continuing.
Schultz said the gunman and his girlfriend had children who live in Rio Rancho. He said the youths were taken into custody by another agency. The chief also said that there was at least one previous domestic violence call involving the gunman, but that the call occurred outside Albuquerque.
He said 226 people were taken by bus from Emcore buildings to a community center, where detectives interviewed them.
Employees were offered grief counseling and treatment for asthma or diabetic conditions.
Emcore manufactures components that allow voice, video, and data transmission over fiber optic lines. It also manufactures solar power systems for satellite and ground-based systems.
The company, based in Albuquerque, has about 700 full-time employees.