Pittsburgh Gunman Worked IT At Gates Firm
George Sodini was a tech professional at a law practice founded in part by the Microsoft chairman's father.
The gunman who killed three women and himself at a Pittsburgh-area fitness studio Tuesday was an IT systems analyst at a law firm that can trace its roots to the father of Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, according to the man's profiles on social networking sites and other Internet records.
George Sodini, 48, listed himself as "Systems Analyst at K&L Gates" on the professional networking site Linked In. Sodini also identified himself as a programmer on other sites and blogs, indicating he worked at the firm for about ten years.
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K&L Gates was formed in 2007 through the merger of Seattle-based Preston Gates & Ellis and Pittsburgh-based Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham. Preston Gates & Ellis was founded in 1990 by a combination of Seattle law firms, one of which included William H. Gates, Sr—Bill's dad--as a founding partner.
Sodini barged into a workout room at a branch of national gym chain LA Fitness in Collier Township and opened fire. He killed three women and injured nine before turning the gun on himself. Police said Sodini fired as many as 52 shots during the rampage.
Sodini maintained a lengthy blog in which he portrayed himself as a lonesome loser who had become disaffected with society and who had given up on family and relationships. "The type of life I see is a closed world with me specifically and totally excluded," Sodini wrote in a Dec. 29 entry.
Sodini also complained about stress on the job and cutbacks.
"Early last month we had our second general layoff. I survived," Sodini wrote. "I understand the need to reduce staff when times sour, but this is out of proportion to the economic problems at this time," he added.
But Sodini also said he got along with most of his co-workers in the IT department at K&L Gates—a fact that may have spared their lives. "Most people there are OK and I would never have a shoot 'em up there. They paid me for 10 years, so far!" wrote Sodini.
Sodini made the final, chilling entry in his blog Tuesday, the day of the shootings. "I need to work out every detail, there is only one shot," he wrote.
Among other things, authorities are now investigating whether the warnings in Sodini's blog—which was open to public view and clearly stated that he was intent on, at the very least, suicide—could have helped prevent the tragedy. It's unclear how many individuals, if any, read the postings.