Arrow-right Camera


Former Employee Kills Five, Himself

Tue., April 4, 1995, midnight

A former employee opened fire Monday in a refinery inspection company, killing the owner, his wife and three workers before fatally shooting himself, police said.

James Simpson, a 28-year-old former worker at Walter Rossler Co., shot five people with a 9mm semiautomatic pistol and .32-caliber revolver before leaving through the back door, police said. He then shot himself.

“We know that everyone he came in contact with, he did shoot and kill and then shot himself,” Police Chief Henry Garrett said.

Up to 10 people were inside the industrial inspection company when the gunman entered and opened fire, Garrett said. Two workers escaped by crawling out the back door.

“When we arrived, we learned preliminarily that a disgruntled employee walked in and started shooting. … We’re still trying to piece together the why of what happened,” said Assistant Police Chief Ken Bung.

The victims were identified as owner Walter Rossler, 62; his wife, Joann Rossler, 62; Derek Harrison, 35; Wendy P. Gilmore, 41; and Richard Tomlinson, 34.

The shooting came just hours after the funeral for Selena Quintanilla Perez, the Grammy-winning Tejano music star who was slain Friday in Corpus Christi.

Click here to comment on this story »