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The Detroit News
Mike Martindale and Catherine Jun / The Detroit News
Accountant was also hospitalized for depression in last 5 years, according to suspect’s estranged wife.
TROY — A man expected to be charged today in an office shooting that left one dead and two wounded had a history of mental illness, including two suicide attempts and a hospitalization for depression in the past five years, an attorney for the man’s estranged wife said Tuesday.
Investigators said Anthony LaCalamita, 38, of Troy lost his job as an accountant at Gordon Advisors on Thursday, bought a 12-gauge shotgun on Friday and returned to his former workplace on Monday morning to exact revenge on his former colleagues.
Within a few minutes, Madeline Kafoury, 63, of Warren was dead, and Alan Steinberg, 48, of Bruce Township and Paul Riva, 47, of Sterling Heights were wounded by shotgun blasts.
The two men remained hospitalized Tuesday. LaCalamita is expected in Troy District Court today to face murder, attempted murder and other charges in connection with the shooting.
“He has suffered from depression and a bipolar, manic disorder in recent years and had taken medication for it. Whether he was taking it or not now is not known,” said attorney Jose Fanego, who had previously released a statement on behalf of Michele LaCalamita, who declined interview requests.
Fanego said the LaCalamitas, who were married in 1998, have not lived together for three weeks. Michele LaCalamita has been cooperating with investigators, police said.
Mental problems alleged
Fanego said that, according to Michele LaCalamita, Anthony LaCalamita has been diagnosed and treated for depression and other mental disorders for several years but had never exhibited any violent behavior.
“He is a very intelligent, educated person, but after their marriage began having mental problems,” Fanego said. “He attempted suicide by taking an overdose of pills and had his stomach pumped. He realized he had a problem that needed treatment and agreed to a hospitalization about two years later. But then in 2002, he attempted suicide a second time.”
Police said that LaCalamita’s purchase of a shotgun last week wasn’t his first attempt to own a firearm. Troy Police Lt. Gerard Scherlinck said LaCalamita had been turned down for a handgun purchase permit in March by Troy Police Chief Charles Craft. Scherlinck declined to elaborate on the reason for the denial.
During a search of LaCalamita’s Kirts Boulevard apartment in Troy on Monday night, investigators said they found no other weapons but did find paperwork regarding the purchase of a pump-action 12-gauge shotgun Friday.
Fanego said the shotgun was purchased at Target Sports on Woodward Avenue in Royal Oak. The manager of the store was unavailable for comment Tuesday, and a worker declined comment. Oakland County Sheriff’s Capt. Mike Johnson, who oversees the Gun Board that determines requests for concealed weapons permits, said there is no statutory waiting period for purchase.
Scherlinck said investigators still have not determined what might have driven LaCalamita’s actions Monday. Fanego believes LaCalamita was frustrated at his failed marriage, his finances and ultimately, losing his job.
Investigators have not determined what prompted LaCalamita’s firing. Scherlinck said police may request the company’s human resources record to find out.
‘Someone has been shot’
Sally Hawk, who works in financial planning at Gordon Advisors, said an officewide e-mail went out Thursday informing everyone that LaCalamita had been “let go.”
She said she was working Monday morning but didn’t see anything when the shooting began.
“It’s a big office and I am at one end of it,” she said in an interview with The Detroit News. “I heard running and later heard it was a couple employees who were trying to run away. When I came out to see what was going on someone said, ‘Don’t! Anthony has been here and someone has been shot.’ ”
Police say LaCalamita’s actions clearly show that that he shot with intent and not randomly. According to Scherlinck, the attack unfolded like this:
LaCalamita first approached receptionist Madeline Kafoury and had a brief conversation with her. She then left the reception area and went down a hallway to Paul Riva’s office.
Shortly after that, LaCalamita walked past the reception area, stopped at one office, where he shot and wounded Alan Steinberg, then proceeded past dozens of stunned workers without saying a word, but made eye contact with many of them.
When he reached a suite of offices that included Riva’s, he fatally shot Kafoury, who was leaving Riva’s office, and then wounded Riva.
Police believe LaCalamita also may have been looking for another manager, but was unable to find that person. LaCalamita left the same way he came in — through the front door.
Hawk said she didn’t understand why Kafoury was targeted.
“I don’t know why he would do anything like that to her — she probably didn’t even know him,” Hawk said. ” I think she happened to be coming out of (Riva’s) office as Anthony was going in. She happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
You can reach Mike Martindale at (248) 647-7226 or firstname.lastname@example.org.