Wanted: suspect in shooting at Mulberry business
A Lakeland man is armed, dangerous and on the run after deputies say he fired shots at three of his former co-workers in the middle of the work day.
Danny Thompson is wanted for three counts of attempted murder after opening fire at MES CGI Construction on Old Highway 60 in Mulberry.
Deputies say they're doing a broad search in hopes of taking him into custody.
Deputies are posted around the home of his parents, as well as at his own home on 6242 Springwoods Ln. in Lakeland.
"He is considered extremely dangerous," said Polk County Sheriff Chief of Staff Steve Lester. "He is armed and he is on the loose."
Deputies say Thompson visited MES GCI Construction twice Thursday to ask for his former boss, once at 11:00 a.m. then again at 2:00 p.m.
The second time, deputies say the boss was so worried about what the former disgruntled employee might do, that he asked two other employees to witness the confrontation.
"As soon as the three employees came outside, Danny immediately reached behind him, grabbed a handgun and started shooting at the three of them," said Lester.
The employees ran inside, and were briefly chased.
"The lady next door came running over and said someone was shooting," explained Herstine. "At that point we started pulling doors shut and trying to figure out what was going on."
Deputies say Thompson got into his white 2006 F-150 with the tag 212-6PD, and sped off, leaving two wounded.
"I never thought in a million years he would turn out to be somebody like this," said neighbor Jonathan Mercer.
Mercer grew up friends with Thompson, and was one of several to tell us that Thompson struggled with drugs, especially after being injured on the job, then losing several of them.
"Man, what (is he) doing, (is he) crazy, what (is he) thinking, what is going on in (his) head right now?" asked Mercer. "Why would you go to an extent of shooting someone just because you lose a job?"
Deputies are talking to all his family members, but won't say whether they've developed leads as to where he is.
"We have good descriptions of him, good descriptions of his vehicle," added Lester. "Do not confront him. Don't try to talk to him. Call us and let us do our job. We will catch him."
He is a divorced father of four teenaged and adult children.