Shoot or mediate or mediate and shoot?

by | Feb 15, 2013


A gunman WHO CANNOT HAVE BEEN HEARD IN MEDIATION opened fire at a Phoenix office complex on 30 January 2013, killing one person, wounding two others and setting off a manhunt. Police warned the public that the suspect was “armed and dangerous.”

Authorities identified the suspect as 70-year-old Arthur D. Harmon, who they said opened fire at the end of a mediation session. They identified a man who died hours after shooting as 48-year-old Steve Singer. Police said a 43-year-old man was listed in critical condition, and a 32-year-old woman suffered non-life-threatening injuries. “We believe the two men were the targets. It was not a random shooting,” said Phoenix Police Sgt. Tommy Thompson. Thompson said authorities think Harmon acted alone and fled in a car after the 10:30 a.m. shooting. Police didn’t immediately release the names of the injured. But a Phoenix law firm, Osborn Maledon, said one of its lawyers, Mark Hummels, was among the wounded and that he “was representing a client in a mediation” when he was shot.

According to court documents, Harmon was scheduled to go to a law office in the same building where the shooting took place for a settlement conference in a lawsuit he had filed against Scottsdale-based Fusion Contact Centers LLC. The company had hired him to refurbish office cubicles at two call centers in California, but a contract dispute arose.

As police searched for the shooter, SWAT teams and two armored vehicles surrounded his house about 7 miles from the shooting scene. For a time, officers, thinking the shooter might be inside, used a megaphone to ask him to surrender. The gunfire prompted terrified workers to lock the doors to their offices and hide far from the windows. SWAT officers searched the building.

“Everyone was just scared, honestly, just scared,” said Navika Sood, assistant director of nursing at First at Home Health Services who along with her co-workers locked the entrances to their office.  The shooting took place on the same day that hearings on legislation to address gun violence were convened in Washington, with former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords testifying for stricter gun controls. A gunman shot Giffords in the head in Tucson in January 2011.


Our thanks to Jacques Billeaud, the journalist and The Columbus Dispatch for this.

Our words are in bold.