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Lawsuits allege security firm allowed UPS gunman to enter facility with weapons

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Emergency personnel at the scene of a shooting near a UPS facility at 17th and Vermont streets on Wednesday morning. (Sarah Beth Maney/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Lawsuits filed Tuesday allege that security guards failed to stop a gunman who killed four people, including himself, and wounded two others from entering a San Francisco UPS facility even after he set off a metal detector.

A total of nine lawsuits were filed Tuesday in San Francisco Superior Court by the law firm Jones Clifford against UPS, security firm Allied Universal and the property owner for the facility at 320 San Bruno Ave. where the June 14 shooting occurred.

The firm filed wrongful death suits on behalf of the family members of slain UPS employees Benson Louie, 50, and Michael Lefiti, 46.

It also sued on behalf of UPS employees Edgar Perez and Alvin Chen, who were injured in the shooting, four workers who were injured while fleeing and 24 other workers who were traumatized by witnessing the assault.

Gunman Jimmy Lam, a 38-year-old UPS employee, walked into the UPS facility with a MAC-10 submachine gun, an automatic pistol and ammunition.

While he set off the metal detector at a security checkpoint, security workers with Allied Universal did not make an effort to stop him or determine the cause of the alarm, the lawsuit alleges.

The lawsuits allege that UPS and Allied Universal were aware of security problems, and that UPS employees had made complaints about the presence of weapons and about unauthorized people entering the building.

In addition, the lawsuits allege that based on Lam’s behavior, UPS should have known that he posed a risk to himself and others.

“The security lapses that led to the horrific tragedy and the death and injury of dedicated UPS workers in the course of an ordinary workday, and to dozens of others witnessing the terrifying scene, were entirely preventable,” Jones Clifford partner J. Kevin Morrison said.

Police have said Lam walked into an employee meeting around 8:50 a.m. and shot Louie, 56-year-old Wayne Chan and two other people who survived their injuries without warning.

Lam then walked out of the building and shot Lefiti at the corner of 17th Street and San Bruno Avenue before returning to the building and shooting himself in the head near where he had first shot Louie and Chan.

Lam’s motives remain unclear, but it appeared he targeted specific employees in the attack.

When contacted about the lawsuit Tuesday, a UPS spokesperson said the company was reviewing the filings but does not comment on active litigation.

“UPS is deeply concerned about our employees and their families,” the spokesperson said.


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