Deadly Winston-Salem Shooting Declared An Act Of Workplace Violence

Deadly Winston-Salem Shooting Declared An Act Of Workplace Violence

10:16am Dec 20, 2019
Winston-Salem Police Chief Catrina Thompson briefing reporters at a press conference following a shooting at the Joycelyn V. Johnson Municipal Services Center Friday morning. DAVID FORD/WFDD

*Updated at 3:30 p.m.

Two city employees are dead after a shooting at a municipal building in Winston-Salem this morning. Another city employee and a police officer were also injured, but their injuries are not life-threatening.  

Police Chief Catrina Thompson says the shooting at the Joycelyn V. Johnson Municipal Services Center was an act of workplace violence and that the matter is not being treated as a mass shooting.

Authorities say the gunman was 60-year-old Steven Dewayne Haizlip, who shot and killed another employee, Terry Lee Cobb Jr., whom he had targeted. When police arrived at the scene they discovered Haizlip outside the building where he was shot and killed during the ensuing gunfight. 

Head of Criminal Investigations Division Captain Steven Tollie says Haizlip and Cobb were both longtime city employees, and they had a history.

"Information we’re receiving is that these two gentlemen had a longstanding dislike for each other," he says. "The source of that dislike I don’t have at this time. But I’m aware of an incident that occurred yesterday between the victim and the offender. They were involved in an altercation yesterday that as far as we can tell went unreported to the employer. But I believe that altercation yesterday appears to be the catalyst for today’s incident. But they’re longtime co-workers."  

Dwight Black is a senior sanitation operator with the city. He described arriving to work this morning.

"I was getting ready to go in. When I swiped the door to come in, they ran past me and said, 'They're shooting. Run!'" he says. "I didn't know exactly what was happening. I just kind of followed suit ... I did hear some shots ring out on a couple different occasions."

Police Chief Catrina Thompson says, "For years, the City of Winston-Salem has prepared its employees for incidents of this nature because they have become so prevalent across our country."

At a press conference Friday afternoon Mayor Allen Joines offered condolences to the victims and their families.

 

*This is a developing story. Information will be updated as more details become available and confirmed.   

 

  

Support your
public radio station