Jul 26, 2014

UPDATED: Spring Lake Park Man among 6 Killed in Minneapolis, MN Shooting

'Nice UPS Man' Keith Basinski died at Accent Signage in Bryn Mawr neighborhood—'wrong place, wrong time,' according to police.

UPDATED: Spring Lake Park Man among 6 Killed in Minneapolis, MN Shooting

Update (4 p.m. Friday): Another victim of Thursday's Minneapolis mass shooting has died, the Star Tribune reported, making Spring Lake Park resident and UPS driver Keith Basinski one of now six fatalities, including apparent shooter Andrew Engeldinger. The newspaper also said:

Later Friday, Engeldinger's family released a statement saying that Andrew struggled with mental illness for years and had lost contact with the family. "This is not an excuse for his actions, but sadly, may be a partial explanation," said the statement, which also said their hearts go out to the families of those killed and wounded.

More on Basinski below and at this roundup of reaction from friends and acquaintances.

Update (3:30 p.m. Friday): Spring Lake Park resident Keith Basinski—one of four who died at the hands of apparent mass shooter Andrew Engeldinger Thursday at Accent Signage Systems in Minneapolis—was in the "wrong place at the wrong time."

That's according to Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan, who said at a press conference Friday afternoon:

“He was well known to the people that work and live in the neighbor. He was in the loading dock loading up at the time. He just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time like all of the others. It's a very, very sad story.”

Speaking about Basinski, Dolan also said he had worked in the area for 20 years. But earlier Dolan refused to confirm Basinski's identity identify any of the victims besides Accent Signage owner Reuven Rahamim and the alleged shooter, .

Dolan said Engeldinger had been fired Thursday morning and returned with a gun that afternoon, shooting himself fatally after killing four people and sending three others to the hospital in critical condition.

'Nice UPS Man'
A man who said he was a friend of Basinski's family declined to comment Friday morning in front of Basinski's home in Spring Lake Park. He said reporters had been coming to the house but the family was not there and needed some time.

A United Parcel Service spokesperson said the company would not comment further than a statement issued earlier (see below).

But a Fridley Patch commenter who said she lives in the neighborhood where the shooting took place (see below) offered this remembrance of Basinski:

"Keith Basinski is an amazing human being. He has been our UPS delivery driver for many years in Bryn Mawr. Keith took time to talk and joke around with us every week when he delivered books to us from Amazon. His energy was amazing. My children called him the "Nice UPS Guy" and whenever they saw a brown UPS truck on the street, they would want to wave to Keith. He will be greatly missed."

The Star Tribune has a photo of Basinski (same as above).

Original post (10:10 a.m. Friday): A Spring Lake Park resident is one of four people killed in the workplace shooting Thursday at Accent Signage in Minneapolis.

Keith Basinski, 50, was one of four victims who police say was shot dead by Andrew J. Engeldinger, 36, of Minneapolis, who apparently shot himself at the scene in Minneapolis' Bryn Mawr neighborhood, the Star Tribune reported. Four others were also injured.

Basinski was a driver for United Parcel Service. His truck, strung with police tape outside the Accent Signage building, was visible in video from news helicopters.

Jill Schubert, UPS Northern Plains District president, said in a statement:

"We are profoundly shocked and saddened over this tragic event involving our driver, Keith Basinski. Our deepest sympathies go out to his family and the families of the other victims. We also pray for the full recovery of others injured in the shooting. Keith had been a part of our UPS family for 29 years and we are going to miss him very much."

It appears Basinski was simply doing his job and was at the wrong place at the wrong time, according to a UPS official in a KSTP-TV report:

UPS spokesman Mark Dickens says given the time of day, Basinski was probably picking up the customer's outbound shipments, but could have been making a delivery as well.

The Star Tribune quoted Michael Allshouse, who appears to work at a different sign business in Fridley and was a business associate of another of the shooting victims, Accent Signage founder Reuven Rahamim:

Business associate Michael Allshouse, who works for another sign company, has known Rahamim for 18 years and worked with him on several projects. Rahamim not only was a successful businessman but an inventor, Allshouse said. One of his patents is for a system that puts Braille onto the signs and placards at hotels. "He built a very successful sign company," Allshouse said.

Accent is a small company with employees who all knew one another. "They were very tight," Allshouse said. And Rahamim knew them all.

( employee Michael Allshouse didn't immediately return a message Friday morning.)

U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, who represents Fridley in Congress, issued this statement:

"I am deeply saddened by last night's deadly shooting at Accent Signage in Minneapolis, and my thoughts are with the families of those lost.

"Accent has been a model for export practices in Minneapolis. Just a few weeks ago, I visited the business with Mayor Rybak and was able to see their success firsthand.

"Now is a time for the Minneapolis metropolitan community to come together in mourning and solidarity."

Ellison's visit to Accent Signage in August, along with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Francisco Sanchez, was the subject of an article in Finance & Commerce.

Another Finance & Commerce article from last summer includes more about Accent Signage Systems and founder Reuven Rahamim

More on the Minneapolis shooting and Keith Basinski:

    • Poll: Do Mass Shootings Show a Need for More Gun Restrictions?

    On another shooting, at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, WI:

    • Sikhs Have Made Fridley Home
    • Minnesota Sikhs in State of 'Confusion' After Temple Shooting
    • Minnesota Sikh Temple Has Tentative Plans for Fridley Property
    • Islamic Resource Group Leader to Sikhs: 'We Stand With You'
    • 100s Honor Oak Creek Victims at Sikh Society of MN Candlelight Vigil
    • Oak Creek Patch on Sikh Temple Shooting

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