SUNNYVALE, California - A man described as a disgruntled employee who opened fire on his co-workers at a California limestone quarry was shot and killed by deputies Thursday, bringing an end to a heavily armed manhunt in Silicon Valley.
Three deputies on routine patrol in a Sunnyvale neighborhood encountered the man, identified by coroner's officials, as Shareef Allman, about 7:30 a.m. local time, Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith said. He was crouched behind a vehicle in the driveway of a home.
The deputies opened fire after the man "displayed in a threatening manner his firearm," Smith said.
The man was positively identified as the 47-year-old Allman through the use of fingerprints late Thursday, said Norma Contreras, an investigator with the Santa Clara County's Coroner's Office.
The shooting took place in a residential area east of the Lehigh Southwest Cement Permanente Plant, where Allman allegedly opened fire during a routine safety meeting a day earlier. Three people died and six were wounded.
Authorities believe Allman also shot a woman in an attempted carjacking a couple of hours after fleeing the quarry.
News that Allman was the suspect in these attacks shocked his friends, who described him as a devoted single father of two and a longtime community volunteer.
Close friend Brandon Powell said he was horrified to learn of the shootings because Allman had mentioned taking a gun to work days before the attack, but Powell, 20, believed the man he called "uncle" was joking.
Powell told The Associated Press that Allman visited him in Sacramento on Saturday and showed off a recently purchased AK-47 assault rifle. Allman was an avid gun collector who was registered with the state, he said.
When Powell asked Allman what the gun was for, Allman said: "`There's some racist people at my job. They're messing with me,"' Powell recalled.
"We started laughing, so I didn't think he was serious," Powell told the AP in a phone interview Thursday. He added, "He wouldn't hurt nobody. He's not that type of person. He must have snapped."
Powell said he had not contacted authorities but would be willing to speak with them.
Sheriff's spokesman Lt. Rick Sung said Thursday that he was not aware of Powell's claims. He added that any information regarding Allman's motive would be part of the ongoing investigation.
Authorities have not released any details about a possible motive, other than to say the suspect was disgruntled.
Meanwhile, The San Jose Mercury News reported that Allman's ex-wife, Valerie Allman, asked for a restraining order against him in 1992, accusing him of assaulting her on several occasions.
A Santa Clara County judge granted Valerie Allman's request and also ordered Shareef Allman to move out of her house, according to court records.
The couple also divorced about the same time, according to the newspaper.
Allman was recently suspended following an accident in which he hit a power line while dumping a truck load at the quarry, according to Bill Hoyt, secretary-treasurer of Teamster's Local 287.
Hoyt said Allman visited his labor union offices on Friday, saying he felt he was being treated unfairly by cement plant management, Hoyt said.
Another longtime friend, Walter Wilson, said Allman complained of racism at work, but he didn't think it was a major issue for him.
In addition to working at the quarry, Allman had run a nonprofit group for youths and produced and hosted a public access television show for CreaTV in San Jose. He also wrote a novel titled "Saving Grace," about the evils of domestic violence.