The shooter in an apparent murder-suicide at Johnson Space Center had received a poor job review and feared being fired, police said Saturday.
William Phillips, 60, smuggled a snub-nosed revolver into the space center Friday, shot David Beverly, 62, and barricaded himself with a hostage before shooting himself in a building that houses communications and tracking systems for the space shuttle, officials said.
Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt said Phillips bought the .38-caliber revolver March 18, two days after receiving an e-mail citing deficiencies in his job performance and saying that he was going to be reviewed.
A copy of the e-mail was found in Phillips' lunch bag on the day of the shootings, police Lt. Larry Baimbridge said.
On Friday, Williams had lunch with Beverly and another man, police said. Then,early that afternoon, Williams entered Beverly's office with the gun in his hand and said "You're the one who's going to get me fired," Baimbridge said.
After Beverly talked with Phillips for several minutes, Phillips shot him twice. He then returned and shot Beverly twice more, officials said.