A warehouse driver who was asked to resign his job at a beer distributor went on a shooting rampage on Tuesday morning that left nine people dead, including himself, and others wounded, company and government officials said.

The number of dead was confirmed by a Connecticut government official who was not authorised to speak publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.

Authorities were notifying victims’ relatives before confirming the number of deaths, state police Lt. J. Paul Vance said.

The driver, Omar Thornton, had worked at the distributor for a couple of years and been called in for a disciplinary hearing, said John Hollis of the Connecticut Teamsters labour union, who was with company officials at the scene of the shooting.

Hollis would not say why Thornton was being disciplined. When police found him, he had been shot, Manchester police Lt. Joe San Antonio said.

About 50 to 70 people were in the warehouse during a shift change when the gunman opened fire around 7 a.m., said Brett Hollander, whose family owns Hartford Distributors. Adding to the chaos was a fire at the warehouse, about 16 km east of Hartford, that was put out. Police did not know whether the fire was related to the shootings.

Among the victims was Hollander’s cousin, a vice president at the company who was shot in the arm and the face. Hollander said he thought his cousin would be OK.

Keywords: U.S. shootout

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