Fiamma 'heartbroken' over workplace shooting that left 5 dead

Orange County company asks for prayers for victims, families

By Daniel Dahm - Digital Manager

ORLANDO, Fla. - Fiamma, the Orange County company where five employees were shot and killed by a disgruntled former coworker, released a statement saying that it is "heartbroken" a day after the workplace rampage.

"The company is heartbroken following the unspeakable attack upon our loved ones and employees. In these dark hours, we ask for thoughts and prayers for all the victims of this tragedy and their families," Fiamma Inc. said in a statement on its website.

The Orange County Sheriff's Office said John Robert Neumann Jr., 45, entered the building on Forsyth Road on Monday and opened fire, killing five people. 

Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said Neumann, who was fired in April, had a "negative relationship" with at least one of his former coworkers. Demings would not say why Neumann was fired.

"He wasn't fired, as I understand it because of something directly related to public safety," Demings said Tuesday. "There were other issues. Now, the fact that this guy killed five innocent people yesterday... was it predictable? I don't know enough about him to say whether or not it was predictable."

Orange County investigators served a search warrant Monday for Neumann's home and seized some items that may help deputies determine a motive for the shooting, Demings said.

The five victims were identified as Robert Snyder, 69; Brenda Montanez-Crespo, 44; Kevin Clark, 53; Jeffrey Roberts, 57; and Kevin Lawson, 46.


Neumann killed himself just before deputies entered the building, authorities said.

Eight others who were in the building were not injured, officials said.

[SEE BELOW: Floor plan of Fiamma warehouse]

Fiamma makes awnings and other accessories for RVs.

Neumann's neighbor, Elizabeth, who declined to give her last name, said Neumann had anger issues, but she would not talk about his dismissal from the company.

"I never thought he was capable of doing what he did (Monday)," she told News 6.

Victims of Fiamma shooting rampage

A youth sports league is raising money for the teenage children of one of the five victims.

Officials from the Lake Howell Pop Warner league said Tuesday that they are raising money for the children of Clark, who were orphaned by the shooting. The league said on a fundraising website that the Clark children lost their mother nine years ago.

The league described Clark as "wonderful man and an absolutely amazing, supportive and wonderful father."

Clark's 14-year-old daughter was a cheerleader in the league, and his 18-year-old son played football in the league for several seasons.

Lawson was a married father of four daughters and had two granddaughters.

He worked in shipping and receiving at Fiamma Inc., starting in 2014, and lived in Longwood, according to his Facebook page.

His wife, Janet Lawson, said he would give a person in need the shirt off his back.

Janet Lawson said Tuesday on a fundraising website that her husband was the love of her life, and the best husband and father imaginable.

She said her husband would always drop everything to help someone in need.

Lawson attended Rossville High School in Georgia and was a native of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Snyder's friends said he was a husband, father and grandfather.

Snyder fired Neumann, according to Lillian Crouch, who has been on a billiards team with Snyder for about three years.

Snyder regularly played pool at Turtle Bay Bar in Orlando. His friends gathered Monday night to remember him. The bar owner told News 6 that Snyder played pool there every Thursday for 25 years.

Snyder's Orlando neighbor, Tiffany Almany, told News 6 that he was a year away from retiring as a manager from Fiamma.

Roberts worked as a sales manager at Fiamma, starting in January, according to his LinkedIn account.

He was described as a "devoted husband, father and grandfather."

His friends said Tuesday on a fundraising website that Roberts was taken away by senseless violence in his workplace.

The website asks for help for family members since the shooting "will undoubtedly put a strain on his family in many ways."

Montanez-Crespo was one of five killed in the workplace shooting Monday at Fiamma Inc. News 6 is working to learn more about her life before the violent incident.

Nearby businesses unite

Several area businesses along Forsyth Road sent flowers to Fiamma Inc. a day after the shooting.

Carlos Garcia, owners of Carlito's Tires, said he was passing through on Monday and saw the mass law enforcement presence.

"It didn't happen in another state. It didn't happen in another country," Garcia told News 6. "It happened right next door to me."

For Maria Myers, co-owner of Carlito's Tires, she couldn't stop thinking about the victims' children.

"We have four children so the first thing that comes to my mind is who's going to help these children," she said.

The businesses along Forsyth Road are a community where everyone knows everyone, Myers said.

"Everyone is upset over this," Myers said. "It could have happened to anyone in the businesses in our complex."

Fiamma Inc. is just a block away from Myers shop.

Mass shootings in Orlando area

The shooting at Fiamma comes nearly one year after the mass shooting – the worst in U.S. history -- at Pulse nightclub in Orlando that left 49 dead and dozens injured.

The gunman, Omar Mateen, was killed on June 12, 2016, in a shootout with police.

Before Pulse, the most recent workplace mass shooting in Orlando was in November 2009 at the Gateway Center. Otis Beckford was killed and five others were injured in Orlando’s first mass shooting in 25 years.

The gunman, Jason Rodriguez, a disgruntled former employee at Reynolds, Smith and Hills, was arrested a couple of hours after the shooting at his mother’s apartment on Curry Ford Road.

Rodriguez, 40, had been fired two years earlier for poor performance.

Rodriguez was originally found guilty and sentenced to life in prison, but he was granted a new trial in August 2005 after a technicality was said to have confused jurors. At a hearing to determine the start date of a new trial, he accepted a deal, pleading no contest to second-degree murder and five counts of attempted first-degree murder.

Rodriguez died in prison on April 15, 2016.

Watch News 6 for more on this story. 

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