Firefighter Shot After Slayings of Wife, 4 Department Officers

<i> From Associated Press</i>

A firefighter killed his wife at home then went to a firehouse and opened fire on his supervisors Wednesday, killing four department officials before being wounded in a shootout, police said.

Kenneth Tornes, an eight-year veteran, led police on a high-speed chase from the downtown Fire Department to the parking lot of a busy suburban shopping center, causing several wrecks, one involving an ambulance.

At the North Park Mall in Ridgeland, a suburban community that borders Jackson, Tornes wounded one officer before being shot in the left eye.

Tornes was in serious but stable condition after surgery.

Tornes had apparently made threatening statements long before the shootings, another firefighter said.

“He was a perfect gentlemen except when you got him talking about the chiefs,” 14-year firefighter Tim Dukes said.


Police Chief Robert Johnson said the shootings began on the station’s second floor, where senior officers were meeting, and the gunman moved to different offices while firing. An unidentified woman said she was in a hallway when Tornes said, “Lady get back, I am going to blow the place up!”

Investigators said they had not established a motive for the shootings.

The body of Tornes’ 42-year-old wife, Glenda, was found in their home. She had been shot once in the head earlier Wednesday, officials said.

The dead firefighters were identified as Capt. Merideth Moree, 49; District Chief Dwight Craft, 48; Capt. Stan Adams, 45, and District Chief Rick Robbins, 47.

Fire Department Capt. Ken Lewis, 50, was in critical condition and District Chief Jacob Bell, 48, was in stable condition. Ridgeland police officer Elmo Gabbert was in stable condition.

It was the second multiple shooting in Mississippi’s capital city this month.

On April 12, white supremacist Larry Shoemake sprayed a busy shopping center with gunfire, killing one person and wounding 10 others. He then set fire to the abandoned restaurant where he was holed up and died in the flames.