Accent Signage Systems shooting: First victims fought for their
Managers tried to wrest gun from Andrew Engeldinger, who pulled
it after he was fired.
By Matt McKinney Star Tribune OCTOBER 2, 2012 — 1:17PM
Confronted with a fired employee who pulled a gun, two managers
at Accent Signage Systems, Inc., struggled with the man for
control of the weapon.
It was a fight they lost, and moments after gunman Andrew
Engeldinger shot them both, he continued with one of the worst
mass shootings in Minnesota history.
The effort of Rami Cooks and John Souter to stop the massacre
was one of many details released Monday in a four-page
Minneapolis police report of what took place last Thursday, when
Engeldinger used a 9mm Glock handgun to kill Cooks and four
others and injure three more employees, including Souter.
Engeldinger then committed suicide.
Engeldinger, a longtime employee who had clashed with his
superiors over tardiness and poor performance, moved from
location to location within the business in Minneapolis' Bryn
Mawr neighborhood, passing through doors and confronting his
victims as he shot person after person, according to police. His
rampage was over so quickly that most victims didn't realize
what was happening until he was standing before them, the report
He has no history with the Minneapolis police, authorities said,
aside from three property crimes cases in which he was the
victim. But his family said he had struggled with paranoia and
delusions, and within the past two years had withdrawn from them.
About a year ago, he legally acquired two Glock 9mm handguns.
Engeldinger practiced shooting at the Burnsville Rifle and
Pistol Range, according to information released Monday. The
range has been closed since July 31 due to a fire, according to
a recording on the business's phone. It may partly reopen this
Engeldinger, 36, had received a letter of reprimand a week
before the shootings. He was told at the time that his
performance must improve immediately or he would be terminated.
'Poor performance and lateness'
Near the end of the workday, Engeldinger was asked to meet in
Souter's office. Engeldinger first left the building and went to
his car, then returned to meet with Souter and Cooks.
Engeldinger was fired at the meeting for "poor performance and
lateness," according to the police report, and given his final
Engeldinger carried the gun and two loaded magazines -- each of
them carrying 15 bullets -- into his termination meeting,
according to police.
He pulled out the handgun and a struggle "ensued between the men
over the gun" before Souter and Cooks were wounded. Cooks, who
was 62, did not survive.
Engeldinger dropped a partially loaded magazine during the
struggle. He reloaded and stepped out of Souter's office,
encountering company owner Reuven Rahamim, 61, who had come out
of his office to see what was going on.
Engeldinger shot him, then walked east through the building,
leaving the executive offices through a set of double doors and
into the sales staff area. He shot and killed employee Jacob
Beneke, 34, then continued east through another set of double
doors to the loading dock area.
There he shot and killed employee Ron Edberg, 58, before turning
to shoot and kill UPS driver Keith Basinski, 50, who was in his
truck at the loading dock area.
Engeldinger continued east through a set of large sliding doors
to the company's production area, where he shot and critically
injured employee Eric Rivers. Another employee, identified only
as "B.W.," was grazed by a bullet.
Engeldinger then went to the company's basement and shot himself
in the head.
A search of his home by Hennepin County sheriff's deputies after
the shootings turned up application materials for a gun permit
and certification of completion of concealed-carry training,
according to police. Police said laws prohibited them from
saying whether Engeldinger had a gun permit.
An ankle holster, empty boxes that could have carried 10,000
rounds, gun cleaning supplies, targets and spare Glock magazines
were also found at the home.
The funeral for Rahamim, of St. Louis Park, was Sunday. Another
funeral was held Sunday for Cooks, of Minnetonka.
A funeral for Edberg, of Brooklyn Center, will be held at 7 p.m.
Tuesday at Methven-Taylor Funeral Home, Anoka. Services for
Beneke, of Maple Grove, will be at noon Wednesday at Evans-
Nordby Funeral Home, Brooklyn Center. A funeral for Basinski, of
Spring Lake Park, will be at 1 p.m. Thursday at Emmanuel
Christian Center, Spring Lake Park.
According to Hennepin County Medical Center, Accent Signage
System's production manager, Rivers, remained in critical
condition Monday, while director of operations Souter was in
serious condition. The eighth victim, B.W., was seen by doctors
at HCMC Thursday and released.
Star Tribune staff writer Paul Walsh contributed to this report.
Matt McKinney • 612-673-7329