Steven Spoon, an HR manager at a Lowe's in Anniston, Alabama, shot and killed himself on Monday after a three-hour standoff with local police.
According to ABC affiliate WBMA, Spoon entered the store at 9:15 a.m. with a pistol, causing employees and customers to quickly leave the building. Spoon reportedly barricaded himself in an office room before the Anniston Police Department arrived, and after three hours of negotiation he shot himself.
Police Chief Shane Denham told the outlet that Spoon was expected to be fired from the hardware store that day.
"This, from all indications and what we've been told, this was going to be his last day with the business," Denham said at a press conference. "So I believe it was a situation to where the business was apart to part ways with him, so I think he was going to get fired..."
Denham said the officers located Spoon in a back office and evacuated the rest of the store. They then approached the office with a crisis negotiator, who talked to him for several hours over the phone.
"The first thing you try to do is you build a rapport and you start just slowly chipping away and the ultimate goal is to get him to come out, peacefully," Denham said. "And that's exactly what we were doing. Thought that we were going to get there but unfortunately we didn't."
The officers were unsure if Spoon ever threatened any of his coworkers prior to barricading himself.
Lowe's Media Relations spokeswoman Sarah Lively released a statement regarding the incident.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Spoon's family, as well as the employees at our North Anniston store," Lively wrote. "Lowe's has extensive safety measures in place that were followed to quickly evacuate the store. We are focused on providing support for employees impacted by this tragedy, including providing grief counselors onsite. The store will remain closed today and plans to reopen Tuesday."
Prior to his work at Lowes, Spoon worked as a fire fighter for 25 years in Jacksonville, Alabama.
"I have no idea what happened with that with Steven," Jacksonville Mayor Johnny Smith told WBMA. "He was a great employee for us. I can't ever remember him even being written up for anything. Just always seemed to be one of those guys that was always there doing his job. So I just can't imagine what would have happened with him."
Photo: Twitter / @DanWVTM13