Man shoots five at Alexandria law firm

Published 11:28 pm Thursday, October 4, 2007

ALEXANDRIA, La. (AP) — A man shot five people in a downtown law office Thursday afternoon and police exchanged fire with the gunman who had holed up inside the building.

Two of the victims escaped on their own and police rescued the third victim, police said. The fourth and fifth victims were still in the building Thursday evening, police spokesman Sgt. Clifford Gatlin said.

‘‘We’ve tried two or three times to enter, every time he’s fired at our officers,’’ Gatlin said.

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Gatlin would not identify the shooter and said police were uncertain if he had been injured or not. ‘‘We have returned fire and we don’t know if he’s hit or not,’’ he said.

The law office, a one-story family home, is located near the Rapides Parish Courthouse. Police cut electricity to the building and closed off much of the downtown area of this central Louisiana city.

Police fired tear gas into the house and tried unsuccessfully to reach the shooter on his cellular telephone and the office phone, Gatlin said.

A SWAT team had positioned itself behind an armored car in front of the law firm.

The (Alexandria) Town Talk newspaper reported that one man, bloodied and in boxer shorts, emerged from the building after police arrived. The paper identified him as attorney Camille Giordano and said he was taken to a hospital. A call to a hospital spokeswoman was not immediately returned.

The newspaper identified the other victims as attorney Sam Giordano and as the law firm’s secretary Andrea Fletcher Price. Sam Giordano was in critical condition; Price was in fair condition, according to Charla Ducote, spokeswoman for Rapides Regional Medical Center.

Officers from a number of agencies, including state and local law enforcement offices and a SWAT team, were at the scene, along with ambulances.