A Birmingham, Alabama man wearing a United Parcel Service (UPS) uniform reportedly shot and killed two men, and then, himself Tuesday morning at a UPS location in Inglenook, an area inside of Birmingham. Though Birmingham Police have not yet publicly released his name, friends, family, and anonymous law enforcement sources have identified the man as Kerry Joe Tesney, 45.
Tesney had previously worked at the 4601 Inglenook Lane UPS facility until Wednesday, when he was reportedly fired from the job for reasons which have not been made known to the public. He worked for UPS for 21 years. He is said to be a married father of two daughters.
Officers received several 911 calls a little before 9:30 a.m. this morning, when several people inside the building and nearby reported the shooting. Upon arrival, Birmingham police found three dead people inside the business, all white males, all clad in UPS uniforms.
On Wednesday, Birmingham police released the names of the two men killed in Tuesday’s attack, besides the gunman himself, as Doug Hutcheson, 33, and Brian Callans, 46, both supervisors at the UPS facility. Hutchinson was a resident of Odenville, Alabama, and driver supervisor for the company, which he first joined in 1999. Callans was a resident of Birmingham, Alabama. He was a business manager for the company, which he first joined 26 years ago. It is believed the two men were both specifically targeted by Kerry Joe Tesney, who then shot himself dead. According to Birmingham police, no one else was injured.
Just three weeks ago, a man believed to be Tesney uploaded a picture of himself and his two smiling daughters to a Facebook account assumed to be his. Based on his Facebook page, which is set to private other than his interests, Tesney was a religious man.
His public page makes several references to Christianity, Jesus Christ, and the Bible. He listed his favorite book as the Bible and his favorite game as Living Water Bible Games, listed contemporary Christian music as one of his preferred genres of music, as well as “Liked” several pages on Facebook that are religious, such as “I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me,” “The Digital Bible,” “The Bible People,” and so on. Also, among his “Liked” Facebook pages were restaurants such as Chick-fil-A. “BrownCafe: UPS info for UPSers” was another one of his favorite sites listed.
Friends and family are in shock. His mother-in-law, Wanda Binney, said she would have expected this from “anybody” but her son-in-law, who she said was one of the best people she has ever known. She praised the former UPS worker as a great father and loving husband.
Tesney belonged to the Northpark Baptist Church, in Trussville, Alabama, which he and his family first joined in 2003. Most fellow church attendees are also in shock, but his pastor, Bill Wilks, said Tesney had previously told him that he had been having problems at work and with finances, which he was “troubled” over.
Perhaps, due to notorious school shootings, such as the one at Columbine High School in 1999, many people tend to associate mass shootings and mass murders with school shootings committed by young, white, loner males. However, school shootings actually make up only 18 percent of all mass shootings. By contrast, workplace violence makes up almost 30 percent of mass shootings, usually done at the hands of a disgruntled or former employee. It is also noted that, while postal workers account for less than one percent of the overall American work force, they account for 13 percent of workplace murders.
Police are not yet sure of Tesney’s motive for the killings of the two men and then himself at the Birmingham UPS facility. They have said they will be interviewing employees to find out more information Tesney’s work history.
By Lindsey Dow