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Seven Dead in Shooting Incident at Massachusetts Internet CompanyAired December 26, 2000 - 2:29 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BILL DELANEY, CNN BOSTON BUREAU CHIEF: ... exactly why he did this. We did speak briefly, just moments ago, Lou, to an individual who worked at Edgewater Technologies. He didn't give us any information about Mr. McDermott. He did tell us about the mood among the surviving employees at Edgewater Technology, not surprisingly saying that there was a tremendous sense of shock.
People are immensely upset. A very somber mood at Edgewater Technologies, which is an eight-year-old Internet company with offices in a number of states; though, the headquarters is here in Wakefield. It's housed in an old mill, a very open plan sort of building -- very accessible. A large open lobby that breaks off to two corridors that lead to the offices.
Now, SWAT teams were here for a period of time, Lou, but not that long. They were here an hour or two. This did not, at any point, turn into any kind of a hostage situation where police were trying to ferret anyone out. It apparently, to all witness accounts, was handled with tremendous efficiency, in fact, by the local Wakefield police and the state police as they arrived on the scene.
People were kept away from the scene, obviously. Those who were in the building and those across the street from the building; some escorted out of the Harvard Mills building, where this incident took place. But beyond the apparently methodical gunning down of seven people at this Internet firm, no other incidents beyond that. The suspect, Michael McDermott, taken away in fairly short order by local police -- Lou.
LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: As you indicate, Bill, the question of why yet remains. We have some indications about motive, although the DA McEvoy wouldn't say for certain. I did quote him as saying "this is workplace related." A number of eye-witnesses, some of whom were employees of the firm, said the company was in great shape, making money, but we heard a question asked by one of the reporters of the DA, a question which he would not answer: What about the 25 layoffs we've heard at the company over the -- past the first of the year. So, we have indications, possibly, that there was some trouble within the firm.
DELANEY: Yes, Lou. We did speak, as I said, with this employee of the firm. He spoke to us briefly. He appeared to be in a management level of the company, and he did not want to go down that road, if you will. He said the company is doing well. He said as far as he knew, this was nothing more than personal issues and not work- related issues. So, a fairly spare account from the individual from Edgewater that we were able to speak to. But he was resisting, at this point, anyway, relating this to any kind of work-related issues. He said that these were personal issues, as far as he was concerned, that would have driven this man to do such a terrible thing.
WATERS: And Bill, we have the indication that investigators will be working for the rest of the day on the crime scene. What would be the nature of the work?
DELANEY: Well, of course. we've heard about police, literally, on their hands and knees in the building, searching through it for evidence. I mean, obviously, although they have a suspect in their hands at this point, they have to build a case. And this was an incident that was over, as I said, in a fairly short order, and police were on the scene in considerable numbers in short order, and, as I said, literally crawling around, we're told by witnesses, inside the building, checking for evidence on walls and on the floor.
And we'll continue, of course, as well, to interview people in and around the area here. Witnesses -- I shouldn't call them witnesses, but people in the area who became aware of the incident because on this otherwise normal day, police cruisers suddenly swept down on the Harvard Mills complex here in the heart of Little Wakefield, Massachusetts. As they became aware of it, they also have said police, in fairly short order, had come into their offices across the street and at various angles to the Harvard Mills complex to ask them about what they saw or knew.
Most of them, at least the ones we've been able to hear from or talk to ourselves, said that they heard no gunshots -- that they only became aware of the incident when the police arrived on the scene -- Lou.
WATERS: All right. Boston bureau chief Bill Delaney in Wakefield as we now can confirm the enormity in this holiday tragedy: seven dead. A man named Michael McDermott, age 42, is being charged with seven counts of murder. He's being arraigned later today. The man entered the complex with an AK-47, a shotgun, a semiautomatic handgun, according to police, and then opened fire.
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