COLUMBUS - An Ohio State University janitor was armed with more than 50 rounds of ammunition as he walked into a campus maintenance shop and shot two supervisors before killing himself, police said yesterday.
Nathaniel Brown, 50, who was upset over his pending dismissal, had two handguns and fired nine times Tuesday morning, Deputy Chief Richard Morman said.
Police still aren't certain of Brown's motive, though they believe the shootings were work-related. It's not clear if other employees may have been targeted, and it likely will be several months before authorities complete their investigation, Chief Morman said.
The two handguns - a 45-caliber Glock pistol and a 9mm Luger - have been sent to federal authorities to determine where Brown, who had a prison record, might have purchased them, Chief Morman said.
Brown, who was fighting foreclosure, had become increasingly quiet and withdrawn in the past week, according to a search warrant filed by police who interviewed co-workers.
He left two brief handwritten notes police found in his home, the chief said. One was directed to a woman named Donna that said, "sorry I let you down."
He scribbled another note that appears to be a will. It said, "ever thing I have Donna J. Dunson-Grrald-J can have." Records show Brown shared the same address with a woman named Donna Dunson, but their relationship is unclear.
Contents of the notes were first reported by the Columbus Dispatch and later released by the Franklin County coroner's office.
Many questions are unanswered, including how Brown's criminal past went undetected when he applied for a job.
Ohio State hired a vendor, OPENonline LLC in Columbus, to conduct a background check on Brown, who spent about five years in prison in the 1970s and 1980s for receiving stolen property, according to court and prison records. But the agency's report turned up no criminal records on Brown, who denied on his September job application that he had been convicted of a crime. Ohio State is reviewing employment policies to see if any changes are needed, a spokesman said.
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