Five reported dead in Minneapolis business shooting

SWAT team
Members of the Minneapolis Police Department SWAT team stand ready a the scene of a shooting at a business on the 2300 block of Chestnut Avenue West, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012 in Minneapolis. The shooter who opened fire inside a Minneapolis sign company was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound Thursday and was among "several" people killed in the incident, the city's deputy police chief said.
John Autey/St.Paul Pioneer Press/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Five people are dead following a workplace shooting rampage in the Minneapolis neighborhood of Bryn Mawr on Thursday and four more are injured, police say.

The alleged shooter who opened fire inside Accent Signage Systems was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

According to a statement from Minneapolis Police Department spokesman Sgt. Stephen McCarty, the four victims died of "apparent gunshot wounds." He said the Hennepin County Medical Examiner will release identities and causes of death later.

Police were first called to Accent Signage at 4:35p Thursday with multiple reports of shots fired.

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Minneapolis shooting
Police investigate a shooting at Accent Signage Systems on the north side of Minneapolis, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012, that police say left at least two people dead and four others wounded.
AP Photo/Amy Forliti

Police were able to evacuate the building and transport four people who were wounded in the melee to Hennepin County Medical Center.

Three men were in critical condition late Thursday. A fourth man had minor injuries and was in satisfactory condition.

At times it wasn't clear just how many people were killed, but within a few hours police were able to confirm the gunman was found dead inside the business.

"We do have several victims inside that are dead," Minneapolis Police Deputy Chief Kris Arneson said during a news conference outside the company's office. When pressed to say how many, Arneson refused and said police were still investigating.

Hennepin County sheriff's spokeswoman Lisa Kiava said deputies were called to the shooting in the afternoon. Dozens of squad cars and police vehicles surrounded Accent Signage Systems, including a Minneapolis SWAT team truck.

The Accent Signage Systems' website says the company makes interior signage. The company lists its founder as Reuven Rahamim. A phone message left there was not immediately returned.

A statement Thursday evening from Gov. Mark Dayton read, "I deplore this senseless violence. There is no place for it anywhere in Minnesota. I extend my deepest condolences to the families and friends of the innocent people killed or wounded."

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar also issued a statement: "My thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and loved ones who have been impacted by the tragic shooting in Bryn Mawr. I stand with all Minnesotans as we come together to move forward after this horrific act of violence."

Traffic was stopped on a nearby bridge along Penn Avenue, where law enforcement officers had rifles drawn and pointed at a park below. People from the neighborhood milled around but deputies kept them back.

"The neighborhood has been secure throughout the process and we believe there is no danger. But there is a horrible tragedy that has occurred," said Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak. "The names of the victims are now being established, they will come from the medical examiner throughout the night as we learn more."

Marques Jones, 18, of Minneapolis, said he was outside a building down the street having his picture taken when he and his photographer heard gunfire that sounded close.

"We heard about four to five gunshots," Jones said. "We were shocked at what happened and we just looked at each other. We all just took off running to our vehicles."

Further details to be reported as this story develops.

Compiled from reports by Associated Press, MPR News reporters Stephanie Hemphill, Rupa Shenoy and Tim Nelson.