An Ohio mail carrier who was being investigated by his employer for multiple workplace violations and was at risk of losing his job is accused of walking naked into the post office where he worked and fatally shooting his boss before ambushing the postal inspector handling his case.
DeShaune K. Stewart of Dublin allegedly carried out the horrific shooting early Saturday morning after arriving at the post office wearing nothing at all, the Columbus Dispatch reported. The 24-year-old entered a sorting bay at around 7:00 am, where he caught supervisor Lance Maurice Herrera Dempsey off-guard.
According to an affidavit, postal workers heard Dempsey say, “What the hell?” before Stewart fired a shot that appeared to hit the victim in the shoulder. A second shot sent Dempsey collapsing to the floor, while panicked workers fled the building. Stewart did not threaten any other coworkers, Dublin Police Lt. Steve Farmer told the newspaper.
The culprit then drove to the apartment of Ginger Ballard, who was listed by police as a postal inspector and on USPS documents as postmaster of the Dublin post office. Stewart allegedly waited in his car until she arrived and then chased her on foot before killing her via blunt-force trauma to the head.
Police have categorized the slayings as “workplace violence,” noting that Stewart was facing discipline for unspecified workplace violations at the post office. He did not appear to have a criminal record in the area.
“I am deeply saddened and angered at the most recent homicide in our city,” Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said in a statement. “At a time when many gather together to celebrate new beginnings, yet another family must struggle with a heartbreaking loss. We must guard against treating this loss of human life as a mere statistic. This homicide is just as tragic as the first one of 2017.”
There have been 138 homicides in the city of Columbus. The city’s all-time record is 139 homicides in 1991.
“We cannot remain silent as those intent on destroying life continue to terrorize our neighborhoods,” Ginther said.