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Three SiPort Inc bosses slain in gun rampage

Ex-employee Jing Hua Wu arrested on suspicion of triple murder

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A 47-year-old product test engineer was arrested yesterday on suspicion of fatally shooting three of his colleagues after being laid off from his post at Santa Clara-based SiPort Inc.

Jing Hua Wu, a married father of six-year-old twin sons and another boy under three, faces three counts of murder, police told the Associated Press.

Wu, known as “Jerry” to his friends, was described as “a smart, unassuming family man”. He lost his job at SiPort, which is a Silicon Valley fabless semiconductor company, last Friday morning.

According to Santa Clara police chief Stephen Lodge, he returned hours later to request a meeting with company officials. Witnesses said Wu gave no indication that he was upset when he arrived at the office park, according to the AP.

"It was during this meeting that Jing Wu took out a 9mm handgun and shot and killed all three officials," said Lodge.

The shots killed 56-year-old Sid Agrawal, SiPort's CEO, Brian Pugh, 47, vice president of operations, and Marilyn Lewis, 67, head of human resources.

Wu was unarmed when officers arrested him, and the police are still looking for the gun used in the carnage. Neighbours who knew Wu and his family said they were struggling to come to terms with the tragedy.

"It's shocking and emotionally jarring," said Jim Pollart, 47, a neighbor who met Wu and his wife, known as “Jane”, when the couple moved into the area over a decade ago.

"Who knows what happened to cause him to do such a horrible thing. It's unbelievable." Pollart said.

"This is a truly tragic event. These people are innocent victims just trying to do their jobs," said Santa Clara police lieutenant Mike Sellers. "To get him into custody within hours of the event was very, very important to our department."

Siport was incorporated in 2004 and received its first round of venture capital funding in 2005. It develops silicon products for customers that include leading OEMs selling MP3, cell phones and other portable media players. ®

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