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
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
"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
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
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
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.