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Shooting Shocks Trading Firm

Employees of the All-Tech investment group are in a state of shock. Five of the 12 victims in the Atlanta killing spree were shot to death in the firm's Atlanta office. All-Tech, based in New Jersey, is a day-trading company with offices in 22 cities.

All-Tech CEO Harvey Houtkin said the five people who were killed were customers of the firm.

"We have four employees who operated the Buckhead Atlanta office. Two of them were in critical condition and two of them were a little better off than that," Houtkin said. "We're hoping all four pull through."

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When asked how the survivors and their families were coping, Houtkin said: "We've sent down some of our top people to Atlanta to assess the situation. Traders are pretty tough, confident-type people. I hope they'll pull through this and get back to living."

The suspected shooter, Mark O. Barton, 44, was a day trader who had done business with the firm.

Commenting on the pressures of day trading, Houtkin said: "Day trading is risky. But a true disciplined day trader handles risks better than the average person who just buys and holds, especially if you're getting involved in the volatile stocks of today."

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Houtkin isn't certain whether his firm had stopped handling Barton's trading. "We might have. He might have overextended himself [but] I don't know that," he said.

He was "agonizing" over whether to change the firm's procedures as a result of the shooting, Houtkin said.

"What do you do? Here was a man who knew everyone in the office. Just before the massacre, he greeted everyone with the standard, 'How you doing today?' I don't know what one could do to prevent something like this. This is just a tragedy. It's an act of God," he said.