Police: Shooter fired after pattern of behavior

‘No credible information’ to support bullying claim

As Morgan Hill police continue to piece together the details of the June 25 fatal shootings at the Ford Store Morgan Hill, and what led to the violence, officers say they have found no evidence that shooter Steven Leet had been harassed or bullied at his workplace.

The precise reason that Leet was fired less than two hours before he shot his supervisors, Brian Light and Xavier Souto still has not been revealed by investigators. Police Sgt. Bill Norman said Leet had “some kind of issue” with a co-worker the previous day that might have contributed to his firing. He said this issue was likely part of a pattern of Leet’s behavior at the dealership, where he worked for about eight years.

“We haven’t found any credible information to lead us to believe he was being bullied,” Norman said.

Some news reports, quoting a San Jose neighbor of Leet’s, suggested that Leet, an auto parts counter clerk, might have been bullied by his co-workers before killing Light and Souto June 25, then turning the gun on himself.

Norman said officers are still following up on numerous statements provided by witnesses to the shooting at the auto dealership on Condit Road. These witnesses include co-workers who were present during the shooting. About 35 people were present at the Ford Store when gunshots rang out.

Leet had been fired from the Ford Store about 4:15pm June 25, according to police. He left the building and sat in his vehicle for about 20 minutes before coming back into the store, where he lingered for over an hour before entering a back office with Light and Souto.

After a conversation with them, Leet pulled out a handgun about 6pm and shot Souto then Light, police said. Light tackled Leet and tried to disarm him, but was unable to do so as he was shot at least twice.

Leet, 60, then walked outside to the parking lot and shot himself as the first wave of police officers arrived, according to MHPD.

Light, 59, was the Ford Store’s parts and service director. Souto, 38, was the company’s parts manager.

Police have said they believe Leet did not plan the shooting before he was fired June 25, based on a search of his home and vehicle and statements from various witnesses. He had two firearms on him at the June 25 shooting scene, and at least another 12 guns at his home—all acquired legally. Leet did not have a criminal record.

Norman added that officers have learned through statements from Leet’s co-workers that Leet would “occasionally make a comment” about his firearms hobby while at the workplace, but never in a threatening manner, Norman said.

Police have said that Leet has been described as a quiet individual who mostly kept to himself.

Also unclear are the details of why Leet was allowed to return to his work area after he had been fired. Norman said, in general, Morgan Hill police will respond to calls reporting a fired employee or other unwelcome visitor who refuses to leave a business’s property. The objective of these calls is to make sure the unwelcome person leaves the property before causing any harm.

“We’ve gone to those (calls) before, where we’re just the peacekeepers,” Norman said. “We’ll tell them to leave and not return or they will be arrested.” 

Morgan Hill police have said they did not receive any such calls from the Ford Store before Leet started shooting June 25.

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