Police: Man fatally shoots former co-worker after being laid off

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- An afternoon of work at Val-Fit Inc. was interrupted by gunfire in front of the oil field supply company Tuesday.

Willie Singleton is a driver for a supply company and comes and goes into the gated industrial area almost daily. He says he's known both a manager killed and the accused shooter police are looking for.

"There were multiple witnesses, multiple people around," said Sgt. Christopher Hassig with the Houston Police Department. "I don't want to get into who he was pointing the gun at."

Police say 49-year-old Rodney Jackson was laid off just after lunchtime. Eyewitnesses told investigators they saw him pull a gun just after he was told the news.

Singleton adds, "Disheartening because whatever it was it wasn't worth that. It's not worth it. Let it go. If you get laid off, you get fired, move on and get you another job. It may be hard but nothing is fair these days so you go out and do what you have to do to make a living."

The supply driver believes Jackson's position was on the loading dock and can't believe what started as a normal day of business could end like this.

"Very hard being a boss these days because some of the decisions you have to make, you don't want to make them, but you have to make them," says Singleton.

Late Tuesday Sandra Maragh, Human Resources Manager with Val Fit Inc., sent this statement:

    "As you can imagine, we are dealing with a terrible tragedy. Two families have been directly impacted. Our thoughts and hearts are with both families. This is a shock for everyone and we ask for your patience to allow the investigation to proceed. We appreciate very much if the press will respect the privacy of all concerned during this terrible time."

The victim's name has not been released.

Police say Jackson weighs 300 pounds and is 6 feet tall. He was seen driving off in a company truck, a white 2012 Ford flatbed F-350 license plate BN81425.

When reached by phone at her home in Dallas, Mary Jackson, Jackson's mother, said she wasn't aware of the fatal shooting and hadn't spoken to her son in a year.
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