National

Aug 5, 2010 3:24 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Conn. shooter was stealing beer, selling it

The president of a beer distribution company says the employee who went on a shooting rampage there had been systematically stealing beer and selling it to a third party.

Ross Hollander, president of Hartford Distributors in Manchester, said the investigation into thefts by warehouse driver Omar Thornton led to a disciplinary hearing Tuesday in which Thornton was forced to resign. Thornton then snapped, fatally shooting eight and wounding two others before killing himself.

His family and girlfriend say his anger was fueled by racism. But Hollander said Thornton, who was black, had been "embraced as a member of our team" and that there had been no complaints by him or anyone else against the company for racism.

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