Workplace Violence Leaves Two Dead in Malaga

September 22, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Investigators say 33-year old Ralph Wallis was shot by 46-year old Jim Badasci, who later turned the gun on himself. It happened just before 9:00 Tuesday morning at the Fresno Equipment Company, just south of Fresno.The shooting has shocked and devastated the victim's family. They want why the suspect could've been so outraged this morning when he came to work with deadly intentions.

James Wallis said, "I can't believe he's gone. It's amazing to me. I talked to people at his work; they said he got along with everybody there. I don't know what happened."

James Wallis says his brother Ralph never mentioned the suspect to him and he's not sure whether they were friends or just coworkers. Although it's difficult to hear, James wants to know exactly what happened that led to Ralph's death.

"Did he just come in and go directly to Ralph or did he say anything?"

Fresno County Sheriff's investigators say the shooting was clearly planned. The sheriff says the suspect, Jim Badasci showed up to work armed and prepared to take on anyone who got in his way.

Fresno Sheriff Margaret Mims said, "He had on a vest described to me as a hunting vest where you can keep extra ammunition so he came ready to fire several times."

The suspect, a 10 year mechanic at the company is described by friends as level headed. Friends couldn't believe the Jim they knew would be driven to such extremes.

Raymond Juarez said, "We went hunting with him a few times and he was laid back. Every time we hung out with him and this was just a real shock to me to figure out he might be the one that was causing the problem and everything."

James Wallis looked through old photo albums Tuesday night, remembering Ralphs love of cars especially Fords. He says his brother always offered to extend a hand when you needed it. He said, "You could call him at anytime and he would do anything for you. Just a great guy and I'm gonna miss him. It's hard to go on."

Employees who witnessed the horrifying events were told by company owners not to speak publicly about the incident. Minutes after the shooting, workers appeared very upset and shaken by the violence. Many were interviewed at length by detectives.

Tuesday afternoon the employer of the victim and suspect released this statement, "Fresno Equipment Company and its family wishes to extend its deepest sympathies to the families who lost their loved ones in this tragic shooting earlier today. Words cannot express the deep sense of loss we feel."

The victim's family is hoping to talk more with witnesses in coming days.

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