The Memphis Police Department said late Tuesday afternoon that there were “no active threats” in the area.
Later in the week, the Postal Inspection Service sent a news release identifying the victims as James Wilson Jr., 47, who was a station manager, and Demetria Dortch, 37, a customer service manager. The shooter was Johntra Haley, 28, according to the news release.
A Postal Inspection Service statement on Tuesday said the agency was working with the Memphis Police Department, the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to investigate the shooting. Postal Service spokeswoman Kimberly Frum said in an emailed statement that the mail service was “saddened at the events that took place today in Memphis. Our thoughts are with the family members, friends and co-workers of the individuals involved.”
The agency will provide mental health resources to employees at the annex, a staff-only mail-sorting and distribution facility, in coming days, Frum said.
Memphis-area resident Roxanne Rogers said her cousin James Wilson Jr. “was a good man. An outstanding man,” according to the Commercial Appeal. “The best man you’d ever want to be around.”
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) said Tuesday night that she was “saddened by the loss of life” in the attack.
Postal shootings during the 1980s and ’90s gave rise to the slang term “going postal” to describe homicides committed by current or former mail service employees. News media often falsely ascribed long hours and intense work for driving employees to violence.
Postal Service workers and the agency’s unions bristle at the term and instead commend the agency for its workplace protections. The Postal Service commissioned a report in 2000, led by former Carter administration Cabinet official Joseph A. Califano Jr., that found that “‘going postal’ is a myth, a bad rap.”
“Postal workers are no more likely to physically assault, sexually harass, or verbally abuse their co-workers than employees in the national workforce,” the report stated.
Tuesday’s shooting at the annex in the Orange Mound neighborhood comes less than a month after a shooting at a grocery store killed one person and injured more than a dozen in the Memphis suburb of Collierville. The gunman in that attack fatally shot himself, police said.