The gunman, who has not been identified, “was terminated earlier this morning,” Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman told reporters during a briefing Wednesday morning.
Hickman said police believe the man went home, retrieved a gun and returned for the shooting, which he called a “retaliatory act.”
The sheriff’s office said that a shotgun and pistol were used in the shooting and that the gunman fired at multiple employees of the facility.
When deputies entered the offices of Knight Transportation, a company that operates tractors and trailers across the country, they found one employee had been killed. A short distance away, they said, they found the shooter’s body.
“Our deepest sympathies are with the family during this difficult time,” Knight Transportation said in a statement about the shooting. “We appreciate the quick response of authorities and are closely monitoring the situation. Knight is doing everything possible to ensure the safety of all of its employees.”
The company said it was providing counselors to help its employees and had suspended work at the Katy facility until the investigation is finished.
In addition to the employee who was killed, another suffered a minor injury to his face that was not believed to be a gunshot wound, police said. A second employee was also wounded, the sheriff’s office said, though they did not elaborate on the nature of that injury.
A sheriff’s deputy was also injured during the law enforcement response after landing hard on his knee, and he was taken to a hospital for treatment.
While Hickman said police had no immediate information about how long the man had worked at Knight or anything on his background, he said that “probably being terminated would make him disgruntled.”
There are schools located in the vicinity of Knight’s offices, and those were locked down as police investigated the shooting as part of the county’s active shooter protocol, Hickman said.
Four schools — an elementary school, as well as a junior high and a high school — were locked down within minutes of the call to police, according to the school district. The lockdowns were lifted after police responded and all students and staff confirmed safe, officials said.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office was called shortly before 8:45 a.m. about gunshots fired at the facility. The business where the shooting was reported is about 25 miles west of downtown Houston.
Knight Transportation has numerous locations across the country, including three in Texas. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.
This story has been updated. First published: 10:47 a.m.