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Gowanus gunman shoots two before killing himself at steel company

Police taped off a section of 13th Street

Police taped off a section of 13th Street in Brooklyn after a gunman barricaded himself within a building after shooting two people and then killiing himself on 13th Street in Brooklyn on Monday, June 30, 2014. Photo Credit: Agaton Strom

A Brooklyn man shot two workers and himself at a Gowanus factory yesterday, officials said.

On Monday afternoon, the NYPD hadn't officially identified the gunman, who authorities said wounded the two male workers at about 11:15 a.m. before killing himself after a standoff with police officers.

A law enforcement source identified the shooter as Waithe Cameron, 54, an immigrant from the Caribbean who lived in Brooklyn and Albany.

Yesterday's shooting occurred when the man identified as Cameron arrived at the offices of C&A Works, a steel fabricating company located near the intersection of 13th Street and Hamilton Place, and opened fire on the employees, said Chief of Patrol James O'Neill. The two victims were shot inside the building and then ran to the street where police found them, he said.

Dmitry Tovakin, 28, a welder at C&A, said the shooter came in asking for a job and was told to go up the steps and ask for the boss. Instead he took out a gun.

"When he started shooting I went down under the table. I hid behind the metal stocks," Tovakin said. "Once he was shooting to me."

Police said both wounded men were in stable condition at an area hospital late yesterday.

O'Neill said the shooter barricaded himself in a back storage room after he shot the workers. Officer's from the NYPD's hostage negotiation team attempted to talk him into surrendering.

"Almost immediately when I arrived he threw out a set of keys, indicating that there was a van parked nearby - his van - that had a shotgun inside if it. That was later confirmed," said Lt. Jack Cambria, the team's commanding officer.

Cambria said the man then "threw out a black centrifugal device." A law enforcement official said the device was the metal casing of a flashlight partially filled with black powder and what appeared to be a fuse attached.

An emergency service unit officer picked it up and put it in a shielded corner of the building in case it detonated, said the official.

Cambria said that cops appeared to have a 45 minutes of good dialogue going on with the barricaded shooter.

"We thought we had a positive dialogue going with him, but finally he just made the decision and he killed himself," Cambria said.

(With Alison Fox and Noelani Montero)

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