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Garnished wages may have been the trigger

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Updated An employee of Internet consulting outfit Edgewater Technology went berserk in the Boston-area office on Boxing Day and shot dead seven of his co-workers.

Forty-two year old Michael McDermott was taken into custody by local police minutes after they responded to emergency calls by distraught witnesses. McDermott was seated in a chair in the building lobby armed with an assault-style semi-automatic rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun and a semi-automatic handgun, having finished his rampage by that time.

Police said they were forced to "subdue" McDermott, but later acknowledged that he had offered no resistance.

Police also said the shooting was "workplace related," and are investigating the possibility that McDermott was unhinged by company plans to comply with an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) order for a garnishment of his wages to pay outstanding back taxes.

Five of the dead worked in the company's accounting department; two were receptionists.

McDermott, described as a great bear of a man with a huge, bushy beard, arrived for work at nine o'clock Tuesday and went about his usual business as a software tester.

Edgewater team project leader Mike Stanley said the killer had been "joking with a bunch of people" in the morning. Then at around eleven o'clock, he suddenly began shooting. All of his victims died of multiple gunshot wounds from the rifle and/or the shotgun. The handgun was not used, police said.

McDermott left no survivors among his intended victims, and no one other than the dead was hurt.

As the building contained upwards of seventy occupants at the time of the shooting, all of whom are unharmed, it's reasonable to surmise that McDermott arrived with a specific list of targets in mind.

The dead are identified as Jennifer Capobianco, Janis Hagerty, Rose Manfredi, Cheryl Troy, Louis Javelle, Paul Marceau, and Craig Wood.

McDermott has been charged with seven counts of murder and is to be arraigned Wednesday. ®

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