A heavily armed employee gunned down seven co-workers in a shooting spree at a troubled Internet consulting firm on Boxing Day, officials said. Authorities said they were investigating whether the suspect, Michael McDermott, 42, of Haverhill, Massachusetts, was distraught about a plan by Edgewater Technology to deduct back taxes from his wages following a request from the Internal Revenue Service. Authorities said McDermott, a 300-pound man with a big beard, used an AK-47-style semi-automatic assault rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun to repeatedly shoot each of his victims. He was also carrying a semi- automatic handgun when he was arrested, but police said it had not been fired. The massacre was the latest in a string of shootings in recent years in U.S. workplaces, schools and churches. Martha Coakley, Middlesex County District Attorney, said the shootings did not appear to be totally random. Five of the seven victims worked in the accounting department and the assailant walked past other employees to shoot them. The most recent U.S. mass murder, in Honolulu in November 1999, also left seven dead. Others included July 1999 shootings that left nine dead at two Atlanta brokerages, August 1999 shootings that left three people dead at two office buildings in Pelham, Alabama, and an incident in Garden Grove, California, that same month where a man opened fire in an auto parts store killing two people, Reuters reports.
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