Birmingham UPS shooter identified: Family member calls him ‘one of the best men I’ve ever known’

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama –Three people are dead — including the gunman — after a shooting this morning at a UPS facility in Inglenook, according to Birmingham officials.

The incident happened just before 9:30 a.m. as police received multiple calls of an active shooter at 4601 Inglenook Lane, the customer service center and warehouse. “Patrol units responded quickly; they rallied and made entry,” said Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper. “They were able to clear the building and, of course, during the shooting, multiple employees exited the facility.”

Once the officers arrived and entered the building, they found three dead people inside the business. “It appears it was the shooter, still wearing his UPS uniform, and two other employees,” the chief said.

Police officials have not publicly named the shooter, but law-enforcement sources, family and church members identified him as 45-year-old Joe Tesney. He is married, and the father of two daughters.

When they came to work today they had no idea it would be their last day alive on earth,” A.C. Roper.

The gun used in the shootings was still underneath his body when police arrived on the scene.

Police this afternoon confirmed the shooter was fired from his job. “He received his final papers Monday,” said police spokesman Lt. Sean Edwards. “Today he was not expected to return to work because he was no longer employed there.”

Tesney reportedly was fired within the past month and appealed the firing. He lost his appeal in recent days.

What led to his firing wasn’t immediately available. Court records show an auto repair, design and testing shop, filed a lawsuit in November 2012 against Tesney and UPS in Jefferson County District Civil Court.

The lawsuit claims that on Nov. 5, 2010, Tesney came to the business to pick up packages. Along with the marked packages for shipment Tesney negligently, recklessly or intentionally took an unboxed custom one-of-a-kind radiator for a race truck that TSA Motorsports had shipped to HESCO for testing. The radiator  was not marked or otherwise designated for shipment, the lawsuit claims. The radiator was valued at approximately $4,000.

The radiator was never returned or replaced by UPS or Tesney, the lawsuit states.  Jefferson County District Judge Jack Lowther found in favor of Tesney and UPS after a bench trial on Sept. 10, 2013.

Tesney’s mother-in-law, Wanda Binney, told today the family is shocked. “He was one of the best men I have ever known,” she said. “He was a kind husband and a wonderful father.”

Asked if anyone would predict this from Tesney, Binney said, “Anybody but Joe. He’s never hurt anyone in his life.”

“He was just a wonderful person and we’re shocked,” she said. She said the children have not been notified of their father’s death.

Tesney was a member of Northpark Baptist Church in Trussville. The church released the following statement today to “We are praying for the employees of UPS and the families of the victims of today’s tragedy. Our hearts are grieved. We pray that the peace of our Lord would be near to those who have been devastated.”

All three deceased were adult white males, and their names have not been publicly released. The two victims were supervisors at UPS, and police said they believe at least one was specifically targeted in the shooting. The other, sources tell, was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Birmingham News