A Sarasota doctor’s office employee who knew she was about to be fired shot and killed her office manager, then went home and killed herself on her patio.
Fifty-one-year-old Jacquelyn Ferguson walked into Denise Keyworth’s office before 9 am on Friday, June 8. Two fellow employees, who had heard Ferguson was being fired that day, left to give them some privacy. They heard bumping noises, gunshots and a short scream. They ran to hide in a neigh-boring office with other employees, where they locked themselves in.
A police SWAT team stormed the building to find that Ferguson had already left.
Keyworth’s husband said Ferguson was a friend, and had come for dinner last Christmas. He said his wife had noticed this spring that Ferguson was acting strangely, possibly due to prescription drugs she was taking. A co-worker reported that Ferguson had said she could not afford to lose her job.
Advice: Encourage employees to trust their instincts and bring concerns about co-workers’ behavior to supervisors. Sudden behavior changes in particular may signal trouble.
- Conducting a do-it-yourself audit of your company policies
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