Updated: 3:04 p.m:
Three are confirmed dead and six injured in a at the Lehigh Southwest Cement Plant in Cupertino, said Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith.
The shooting took place at 4:15 a.m. during a safety meeting happening inside a Lehigh building. Fifteen employees were at the meeting when suspect Shareef Allman, 47, left the meeting, returned with a handgun and an assault rifle and opened fire, the sheriff said. All victims at the plant were men.
Allman then left in his vehicle, which was abandoned and later recovered by police at the Arco gas station at Homestead and Wolfe Roads. At 7 a.m., deputies believe Allman tried to carjack a woman at Homestead Road and Tantau Avenue and then shot her. He did not, however, take her car, and instead fled on foot. The victim's injuries are not life-threatening, said Smith.
Police are concentrated near Homestead and Tantau at the Hewlett-Packard campus, and looking for Allman. The suspect is armed and dangerous, and described as a 5' 11", 215 pound black male.
Police also found a number of weapons in the vehicle and in the field, including a handgun, a shotgun, and two assault rifles.
Smith said Allman has a minor criminal background due to a theft in the '90s. He also has weapons registered to him, although they cannot confirm they were the same ones found by police.
Friend to Allman for more than 20 years, Mitchell Julien said he was "blown away" by the news. According to Julien, Allman is a "loving father" and hardworking author working on his second book. Julien added that Allman runs a cable access show on CreaTV in San Jose that addresses issues that concern the black community, and even has plans to make a movie.
“Something terrible had to happen to him," Julien said. "I’ve never seen him in a violent situation."
Other friends echoed Julien's characterization of Allman, and asking him to turn himself in.
Of the three who were killed, two died at the scene and one was pronounced dead at a hospital. All victims were taken to two hospitals, and several victims are in critical condition.
"It's a huge tragedy we're asking the public to be safe and to present us with any information," said Smith.
Cupertino mayor Gilbert Wong said he was notified at 5:45 a.m. "It was a terrible tragedy," he said. "Our hearts go out to the families of the three victims."
CEO and president of Lehigh Hanson Inc., Dan Harrington, issued a statement expressing his sympathy and shock. "I have committed the company’s resources to assist our affected employees during this difficult time,” he said.
high schools were asked to stay home Wednesday, while elementary and middle schools are open but in lockdown as police continue to search for an armed gunman.
Most students in the Fremont Union High School District were notified about the shooting in time to stay at home. The students who did come to school were kept indoors and were in no immediate danger, said district public information officer Bettylu Smith. They are now being allowed to go home with an adult, and administrators will make a decision regarding school tomorrow later today.
Cupertino Union School District spokesman Jeremy Nishihara said that all elementary and middle schools are open but in lockdown as police continue to search for the shooter. They are awaiting further instructions from the Sheriff's Office, he said.
Congressman Mike Honda expressed his condolences in a statement, adding that he is working with public safety personnel to apprehend the suspect. "Having worked with the public safety officials in Santa Clara County for many years, I have the utmost confidence in the job that that public safety personnel are doing right now,” he said.
Family members of potential victims should call the city hall at (408) 777-3200 city hall. The Sheriff's Office non-emergency line is (408) 808-4500. Call 911 immediately to report any suspicious activity.