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  1. #1
    TXCharlie's Avatar
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    Gunman At Johnson Space Center



    Gunman At Johnson Space Center

    (CBS) HOUSTON A Johnson Space Center building was evacuated Friday after reports of a gunman inside, Houston police said.

    Police were called about 1:40 p.m. for building 44, which houses communications and tracking development laboratory, news reports said.

    Johnson Space Center security officers and Houston police, including a SWAT team, were dispatched to the scene.

    NASA spokesman James Hartsfield said the building was "one of the smaller" office buildings on the JSC campus, where Mission Control is based. Building 44, just north of Rocket Park, is used to test communication equipment for the space shuttle and International Space Station. There are several labs inside.

    He declined to speculate on how the person got a gun inside NASA security or his motives.

    NBC station KPRC-TV reports that the gunman works for Jacobs Engineering, which is a NASA subcontractor. Authorities believe they have located the room he is in.

    A source inside JSC told CBS Station KHOU that a meeting was under way in a conference room when the gunman walked in and pointed a gun at one person. He ordered everyone else out.

    That report has not been confirmed by NASA officials.

    NASA security responded and HPD was called after the initial call around 1:40 p.m.

    CBS News correspondent Bob Orr reports that apparently no shots have been fired, and police are continuing their sweep of the building. Other buildings nearby were put on lockdown.

    Space Center Intermediate, a Clear Lake ISD school on the NASA property, was also placed on lockdown as a precaution.

    Pictures broadcast from KHOU showed more than 15 police cars outside the building.

    At least one ambulance was sent to the scene as a precaution, but there have been no reports of injuries.

    Building 44 is about a quarter of a mile away from Mission Control.

    Johnson Space Center became the center for a scandal involving astronaut Lisa Nowak, who was arrested in Florida and charged with attempted first-degree murder, attempted kidnapping and three other crimes. Police described the situation as a love triangle involving a fellow astronaut.
    Last edited by TXCharlie; 04-20-07 at 05:46 PM.

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  2. #2
    Just KC's Avatar
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    One hostage dead......gunman dead

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  3. #3
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    Gunman kills hostage, then himself at Johnson Space Center

    By MONICA RHOR Associated Press Writer
    2007 The Associated Press

    HOUSTON A NASA contract worker took a handgun inside an office building Friday at the Johnson Space Center and fatally shot a hostage before killing himself, police said. A second hostage escaped with minor injuries.

    The gunman, William Phillips, 60, was able to take a snub-nosed revolver past NASA security and barricade himself in the building, which houses communications and tracking systems for the space shuttle, authorities said.

    NASA spokesman Doug Peterson said the agency would review its security.

    "Any organization would take a good, hard look at the kind of review process we have with people," Peterson said.

    To enter the space center, workers flash an ID badge as they drive past a security guard. The badge allows workers access to designated buildings.

    NASA identified the slain hostage as David Beverly, a civil servant who worked at the agency. Beverly, who was shot in the chest, was probably killed "in the early minutes of the whole ordeal," police said.

    His wife, Linda, said he was an electrical parts specialist and had recently celebrated 25 years of service with NASA.

    "He was an incredible man. He absolutely loved working for NASA and he felt he was called to the space program," she said.

    Linda Beverly said her husband had mentioned Phillips to her before, but she declined to say in what regard. She said it wouldn't be fair to Phillips.

    A second hostage, identified by NASA as Fran Crenshaw, escaped after being bound to a chair with duct tape, police Capt. Dwayne Ready said. She works for MRI Technologies, a NASA contractor does engineering, information management and logistics support.

    The gunman, an employee of Jacobs Engineering of Pasadena, Calif., shot himself once in the head more than three hours after the standoff began, police said. Initial reports indicated two shots were fired about 1:40 p.m. and another shot was heard about 5 p.m.

    John Prosser, executive vice president of Jacobs Engineering, confirmed that the gunman was a company employee but declined to release any information about him.

    Police said homicide investigators searched the gunman's house where he lived alone and found no guns or any evidence at all about the shooting.

    Mike Coats, the director of the Johnson Space Center, said Phillips had worked for NASA for 12 to 13 years and "up until recently, he has been a good employee."

    Police Chief Harold Hurtt said there was apparently a dispute between Phillips and Beverly, but didn't elaborate.

    During the confrontation, NASA employees in the building were evacuated and others were ordered to remain in their offices for several hours. Roads within the 1,600-acre space center campus were also blocked off, and a nearby middle school kept its teachers and students inside as classes ended.

    Doors to Mission Control were locked as standard procedure.

    NASA employees and contract workers were kept informed of the situation by e-mail.

    Michael Zolensky, who studies cosmic dust, said workers were gathered around a television watching news reports of the situation.

    President Bush was informed about the gunman as he flew back to Washington from an event in Michigan, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said.

    Jacobs Engineering provides engineering for the international space station, space shuttle and other spacecraft programs, and conducts research and development for new technology. In 2005, the company received a five-year contract with the space center worth up to $1.15 billion.
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