Florida gym shooting witness: "He was looking for another person"

Janine Ackerman, 35, and Marios Hortis, 42.

CBS Miami/LinkedIn

CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- The witness to the fatal shooting of two managers at a Florida gym by an employee who had just been fired is speaking out to CBS affiliate WPEC.

The Miami-Dade Police Department said in a statement that 33-year-old Abeku Wilson of Miami was let go Saturday as a fitness trainer at the Equinox gym in Coral Gables “due to workplace violence and was escorted off the premises.” Authorities didn’t elaborate on what that violence involved.

Shortly after his dismissal, Wilson returned to the gym with a handgun and fired multiple shots at both managers before fatally shooting himself. Witnesses at the gym said he seemed to know exactly where he was going, CBS Miami reports.

Police said the managers were deliberately targeted and that the shooting wasn’t random. 

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Carlos Alvarez told WPEC he was in the gym at the time and witnessesed the termination and the shooting about ten minutes later.

“I looked at him. He looked at me,” said Carlos Alvaraz. “He was looking for another person, the third person that had been involved in his termination.”

shooting-merrick-park-florida.jpg

Police patrol outside of the Shops at Merrick Park after a shooting,Saturday, April 8, 2017, in Coral Gables, Fla. Alvaro Zabaleta of the Miami-Dade Police Department says detectives have responded to the scene of the shooting in the upscale shopping mall in South Florida. 

Lynne Sladky, AP

The station reports the third possible target escaped the gym and wasn’t hurt. Miami-Dade police didn’t immediately respond to Crimesider’s question about whether Wilson attempted to target another person.

Equinox said in an email statement that it was “deeply saddened” by the deaths of the two employees, 35-year-old Janine Ackerman of Miami and 42-year-old Marios Hortis of Miami Beach. Ackerman was the gym’s general manager and Hortis the fitness manager.

“Our love, prayers and condolences are with both families during this terrible time. The collective Equinox community will always keep Janine and Marios in our hearts,” the statement said.