SAN JOSE, Calif. — The man suspected of opening fire at a Northern California quarry, killing three of his co-workers and injuring six others, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, authorities said Tuesday.
The report by the Santa Clara County coroner contradicts the account given by authorities shortly after Shareef Allman's death. Sheriff Laurie Smith had said Allman was killed last Thursday by deputies who opened fire after he threatened them with a handgun.
According to the coroner's office, Allman was shot multiple times, but the self-inflicted wound was the fatal one.
"We didn't know he shot himself until they did the autopsy," said Sunnyvale Police Capt. David Verbrugge told the San Jose Mercury News on Tuesday.
Verbrugge told the newspaper that when Sunnyvale police interviewed the deputies, "they didn't indicate he shot himself. My initial reaction is no, they did not know."
Terri Bowman, an attorney representing the deputies who fired at Allman, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that, "the coroner's report doesn't change the fact that Mr. Allman put the deputies in a life-threatening situation."
The confrontation took place after a 27-hour manhunt for Allman, who police said entered a pre-dawn meeting on Oct. 5 in a trailer at Lehigh Southwest Cement plant, where he worked as a truck driver, and began shooting his co-workers one by one. Mark Munoz, 59; Manuel Pinon, 48; and John Vallejos, 51, died.
Allman shot a 10th victim in a failed carjacking attempt after leaving the plant, authorities said.
Authorities have not released any details about a possible motive, other than to say that Allman was disgruntled.
Allman's friends and colleagues said he had complained about being treated unfairly by his managers, but still were baffled that he resorted to violence. He was described as a pillar of San Jose's black community, a doting father who penned a novel describing the evils of domestic violence.
Tony Williams, pastor of the Maranatha Christian Center in San Jose, who has been acting as an Allman family spokesman, said he had no comment about the coroner's report.