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Willie WOODS





Classification: Mass murderer
Characteristics: Shooting rampage - Revenge
Number of victims: 4
Date of murders: July 19, 1995
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: 1953
Victims profile: James Walton, 60, Tony Gain, 72, Neil Carpenter, 61, and Marty Wakefield, 57 (his supervisors at work)
Method of murder: Shooting (19-shot Glock semiautomatic pistol)
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA
Status: Sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on February 7, 1997

Willie, a Los Angeles city electrician, felt he was being singled out by his supervisors at work. Taking matters into his own hands, on Wednesday July 19, 1995, Willie went to work at the Piper Technical Center in Downtown Los Angeles with payback in his mind and a gun in his hand.

At 10 a.m., after a brief argument about a negative performance evaluation he received, the vengeaful radio repairman left the room and returned moments later with a 19-shot Glock semiautomatic pistol in his hand.

Willie shot and killed two supervisors in their work cubicles in the offices of the Piper Tech technical center.

Then walked downstairs to the basement and hunted down his other two victims. He found and killed one in the hallway, and the other in another office.

Two officers of the police gang unit who happened to be inside Piper Tech on an unrelated matter arrested Willie as he tried to leave the building.

Co-workers said that Woods, "seemed like a mellow guy." His problems with his supervisors started 6 months before the killings. Once he threw a chair across the room when he was being counseled by one of the victims.


4 Fatally Shot In California

The New York Times

July 20, 1995

In the Los Angeles shootings, Willie Woods, 42, an electrician with the General Services Department, was arrested shortly after the 10:15 A.M. attack at the C. Edwin Piper Technical Center. The complex, known as Piper Tech, contains various city services, including a rooftop police heliport, forensic laboratories, patrol car garages and print shops.

The dead, all department supervisors in the General Services Communications Department, were identified as Anthony Gain, Neil Carpenter, James Walton and Marty Wakefield. The department maintains the city's two-way radio equipment.

The department's general manager, Randall Bacon, said Mr. Woods, of Upland, was a 12-year veteran of the department, handling everything from carpet installation to vehicle maintenance.

"His supervisors have been dealing with him about some performance issues for the last eight months," Mr. Bacon said. "He had gotten some negative performance evaluations."

Mr. Bacon declined to be specific about Mr. Woods's problems at work except that he had received on-the-job counseling for the last few days.

Lieut. John Dunkin said, "He came in this morning; there was some kind of dispute; the four victims were shot."

Piper Tech contains the crime laboratory made famous in the O. J. Simpson murder case, as it is the site where Dennis Fung and Andrea Mazzola, two police criminal investigators, conducted their tests.

Three of the victims were pronounced dead at the nearby County-University of California Medical Center. At least two had been shot in the back, said a hospital spokesman. The fourth died at the scene.

The police said Mr. Woods apparently used his city identification card to pass an outside guard. Inside, he pulled a Glock semiautomatic handgun, they said.

Mr. Walton, 60, and Mr. Carpenter, 61, had both served as Mr. Woods's immediate supervisors. Mr. Gain, 72, was the senior communications engineer; Mr. Wakefield, 57, was another supervisor. The four were shot in different parts of the building, a police spokesman said.

Mr. Woods ran out a rear door and was chased by police officers who had stopped by Piper Tech to pick up supplies. He surrendered without incident.


Angry city worker kills 4 supervisors

Los Angeles Times

July 19, 1995

 A city electrician -- upset over a poor performance review and worried that he might be fired -- shot to death four of his supervisors at the C. Erwin Piper Technical Center just east of downtown Los Angeles.

Willie Woods, 42, arrived at work as usual at Piper Tech and argued about his review. Then he went to get a 19-shot Glock semiautomatic pistol and began methodically hunting down his victims, killing two in cubicles, one in an office and one in a hallway

One of Woods' victims was Anthony J. Gain, 78, the office supervisor. Gain had worked for the city of Los Angeles for 53 years and was its most senior employee. He had continued working years after he could have retired and drawn a pension equal to his salary.

Gain had "been working essentially for free," Phil Henning, the city's assistant personnel director told The Times. Convicted of four murders, Woods was sentenced in 1997 to life in prison without the possibility of parole.


Electrician Gets Life Sentence in Slayings of 4 Supervisors

Los Angeles Times

February 8, 1997

The Los Angeles city electrician who hunted down and killed four of his supervisors in a 1995 shooting rampage at the C. Erwin Piper Technical Center was sentenced Friday to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

After impassioned, tearful pleas from the families of victims, Superior Court Judge Edward Ferns ordered Willie Woods, 42, of Upland to prison for the rest of his life.

Seething after more than a year of bad reviews and reprimands, Woods pulled a 9-millimeter pistol from his toolbox July 19, 1995, and tracked down his superiors in offices and hallways at Piper Tech, a large city facility housing communications and logistics operations near downtown.

James Walton, 60, Tony Gain, 72, Neil Carpenter, 61, and Marty Wakefield, 57, were shot to death.

"You will wish the jury had given you the death penalty," Lydia Gain, a widow of one victim, said before the sentencing. "You will be one of the living dead."

Woods was convicted Nov. 5 of first-degree murder in the deaths of Walton, Gain and Carpenter. He was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of Wakefield.



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