UPDATE: New details released on Perry workplace shooting

PPD identified the suspect as 37-year-old Alan Joseph Lawless, who is currently employed at...
PPD identified the suspect as 37-year-old Alan Joseph Lawless, who is currently employed at West Fraser. No motive behind the attack was determined.(Perry Police Department)
Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 11:13 AM EDT
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TAYLOR COUNTY, Fla. (WCTV) – The man charged with firing shots in a Perry lumber mill ordered coworkers into a break room against their will and told them to surrender their phones, according to court documents filed in the case.

Alan Joseph Lawless, 37, is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment, obstructing justice, and improper exhibition of a dangerous firearm.

The probable cause affidavit says Lawless entered the mill with an Anderson AM-15 rifle early Monday and shot a beer bottle with the rifle.

RELATED: Workplace shooting at Perry lumber mill, no injuries reported

The affidavit says Lawless then ordered two coworkers to get into the break room and throw out their cell phones, trying to “prevent the victims from calling 911 for help.” The coworkers said their phones were in their lockers, and when Lawless allowed them to go to the locker room, they ran.  One of them hid inside the mill.  Another ran from the scene to a nearby gas station to call 911, according to the affidavit.

Lawless fired his gun in the direction of the two coworkers as they got away, according to the affidavit.  No one was injured.

Perry Police officers and Taylor County deputies arriving at the scene quickly determined that all employees were safe and unharmed. After receiving a description of the vehicle, police found Lawless about two hours later, driving on the 8700 block of US Highway 98 West, and he was arrested.

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