Shooter, 19, FedEx worker and North Cobb High grad
by Nikki Wiley
April 29, 2014 11:00 PM | 20358 views | 22 22 comments | 40 40 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A 2012 North Cobb High School yearbook photo of Geddy Kramer, who has been identified as the shooter.
A 2012 North Cobb High School yearbook photo of Geddy Kramer, who has been identified as the shooter.
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A distraught Federal Express employee is escorted off the property Tuesday morning as members of Georgia State Patrol, Cobb Police, Marietta Police and Kennesaw Police prepare to enter the building to locate a person who opened fire before sunrise. <br>Staff/Kelly J. Huff
A distraught Federal Express employee is escorted off the property Tuesday morning as members of Georgia State Patrol, Cobb Police, Marietta Police and Kennesaw Police prepare to enter the building to locate a person who opened fire before sunrise.
Staff/Kelly J. Huff
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City of Marietta police officers join officers from the Georgia State Patrol, Cobb County and Kennesaw as they prepare to enter the Federal Express building at 1675 Airport Road in Kennesaw on Tuesday morning in search of an armed gunman who opened fire on employees before sunrise. <br>Staff/Kelly J. Huff
City of Marietta police officers join officers from the Georgia State Patrol, Cobb County and Kennesaw as they prepare to enter the Federal Express building at 1675 Airport Road in Kennesaw on Tuesday morning in search of an armed gunman who opened fire on employees before sunrise.
Staff/Kelly J. Huff
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Federal Express employees get on their phones outside the distribution center located at 1675 Airport Road in Kennesaw on Tuesday morning as Georgia State Police, Cobb Police and Kennesaw Police prepare to enter the building to located a person who opened fire before sunrise. <br>Staff/Kelly J. Huff
Federal Express employees get on their phones outside the distribution center located at 1675 Airport Road in Kennesaw on Tuesday morning as Georgia State Police, Cobb Police and Kennesaw Police prepare to enter the building to located a person who opened fire before sunrise.
Staff/Kelly J. Huff
slideshow
Federal Express employees wait across the street from the entrance of the distribution center located at 1675 Airport Road in Kennesaw Tuesday as Georgia State Police, Cobb Police, Marietta Police and Kennesaw Police prepare to enter the building to located a person who opened fire on employees before sunrise. <br>Staff/Kelly J. Huff
Federal Express employees wait across the street from the entrance of the distribution center located at 1675 Airport Road in Kennesaw Tuesday as Georgia State Police, Cobb Police, Marietta Police and Kennesaw Police prepare to enter the building to located a person who opened fire on employees before sunrise.
Staff/Kelly J. Huff
slideshow
KENNESAW — A FedEx employee who witnesses described as looking “like Rambo” with ammunition draped across his chest opened fire at a Kennesaw sorting facility Tuesday, wounding six people before taking his own life.

Cobb Police named Geddy L. Kramer, 19, of Acworth, a former North Cobb High School student, as the suspect.

According to investigators and witnesses, at 5:54 a.m. Tuesday, Geddy drove a maroon Honda up to the security guard shack at the FedEx sorting facility at 1675 Airport Road by Cobb County Airport - McCollum Field.

After reportedly shooting the guard, he entered the warehouse, where police say he shot another five individuals. After doing so, police say he committed suicide inside a trailer docked on the backside of the business.

The suspect’s father, Scott Kramer, released a statement Tuesday evening through the Acworth Police Department.

“First and foremost, our family would like to express our deepest sympathies and condolences to the victims of this morning’s tragedy and their families,” Kramer said. “Our prayers are for their complete and speedy recovery. Our thoughts are also with all the workers at FedEx who were affected by Geddy’s actions. We make no excuses for his actions and are shocked and devastated by them. There really are no adequate words at a time like this. Our family would appreciate our privacy at this very difficult time.”

Sgt. Dana Pierce with Cobb Police said those people injured by gunshots were treated at WellStar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta. They include a 28-year-old man in critical condition, a 52-year-old woman in stable condition, a 42-year-old woman who was released from WellStar after treatment, a 19-year-old man in stable condition, a 22-year-old man in stable condition and a 38-year-old man, who was also released after treatment.

A seventh man injured his knee while attempting to escape the shooting, police said.

Police said the shooter, who worked as a package sorter, also had explosive “Molotov cocktails” that were not detonated during the attack. The Federal Bureau of Investigation was also collecting evidence at the scene Tuesday.

The two people with life-threatening injuries — a 28-year-old man and 52-year-old woman — appeared to have been shot by a shotgun at close range, said Dr. Michael Nitzken, an emergency room physician. The pair underwent surgery Tuesday afternoon, Nitzken said. The man needed advanced life support and was on a ventilator. He was listed as being in critical condition Tuesday afternoon. The woman was said to be critical but stable.

“There is quite a bit of work to do,” Nitzken said about the treatment of the critical victims.

While police have declined to release any names, Dallas-based West Ridge Church posted on its Facebook page late Tuesday afternoon one of the men injured in the shootings was Chris Sparkman. The church wrote that Sparkman works as a security guard at the FedEx facility in Kennesaw and underwent surgery, “but the next 48 hours are critical for him ... Please join us in lifting Chris up in prayer, especially through these next 2 days.”

Workers and families anxiously wait

FedEx employees and their family members gathered at nearby Sparkles skating rink, 1000 McCollum Parkway, waiting to hear the status of their friends and loved ones who were inside the building during the shooting.

Employees wearing purple FedEx uniforms stood in the parking lot awaiting the arrival of their coworkers. Several employees were taken to the parking lot where tearful reunions took place.

Nearby, Carol Stanek of Kennesaw was waiting to hear if her son, a FedEx employee, had been injured. She called WellStar Kennestone Hospital, and was told her son had not been admitted.

While awaiting the status of her son’s well-being, Stanek said she never expected her son to be in danger while at work.

“I’ve been hearing the sirens all morning,” Stanek said. “I’m working from home today. I just thought it was because of the storm.”

Alex Ladner, a FedEx Ground driver, should have been in the building, but he overslept by about 30 minutes Tuesday morning and was late for work. At the time Ladner should have been arriving, the gunman was spraying bullets across the facility.

“It’s more real when it’s this close,” Lander said sitting in his pickup truck at the roller skating rink. “I should have been in there. I should have been walking through the guard shack.”

Hospital ‘well prepared’

Nitzken said the hospital received a phone call just before 6:30 a.m. Tuesday stating a shooting was in progress and the emergency department should expect multiple victims — all with multiple gunshot wounds. Emergency room workers were in the middle of a shift change, Nitzken said, which worked to the benefit of doctors who had double the normal staff at the time.

“It’s a sense of organized chaos,” Nitzken said, adding the hospital was well-prepared through its certification as a level two trauma center.

Hundreds of police officers and emergency responders lined the roads leading to the FedEx facility before dawn Tuesday. Officers wore bulletproof vests and marched carrying assault rifles down Old Highway 41 and Airport Road near the shipping facility searching for the gunman and possible explosive devices.

Old Highway 41, Airport Road and McCollum Parkway were blocked for hours early Tuesday, causing heavy congestion during the morning commute time.

It was a “large-scale response,” said Officer David Baldwin, spokesman for the Marietta Police Department, which assisted the Cobb Police Department in the investigation Tuesday.

“Our hearts really go out to the family members and victims involved in this shooting,” Baldwin said.

FedEx released a prepared statement Tuesday afternoon.

“We can confirm that an incident occurred early Tuesday morning at a FedEx Ground facility in Kennesaw, Ga.,” the statement said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected, and with their families and friends. We are grateful for the assistance of law enforcement. The situation is now stabilized and we are focused on the needs of our team members and cooperating with the law enforcement investigation of this tragedy.”

Police chief: Active-shooter training comes into play

Cobb Police Chief John Houser commended the officers who responded to the scene for doing an outstanding job, from the Sheriff’s Department and Kennesaw State University police, to the Kennesaw Police Department, Marietta Police Department and a number of other agencies outside the county that responded.

“We have been conducting active-shooter training in our department for a number of years, and we saw the fruits of our labor this morning,” Houser said. “It was a well-oiled machine. The officers did exactly what they were trained to do and without that immediate response, the scene could have certainly been much worse.”

As police chief, Houser said he will continue to ensure the officers are trained and prepared.

“We are acquiring additional personal protection equipment for our officers, i.e., some heavier armor and ballistic helmets,” Houser said. “In addition to that, we have issued patrol rifles. We are buying more so that every officer in the department has a patrol rifle. So we’re providing that additional equipment. There’s not an officer within the Cobb County police department that has a problem with putting themselves in harm’s way in these situations, and we owe it to them to get the equipment they need to be successful in their jobs.”

Comments
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K'saw kid
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April 30, 2014
My hometown is now the hub of gang violence, mass shootings, drugs, prostitution and other assorted violence. Way to go, Kennesaw and Cobb Police! KSU will turn Kennesaw into Athens, just wait another 20-30 years. Fraternity row everywhere. Mowing down crack and meth houses just to build apartments is not the answer because now it will be full of crack and meth, too! Oh and let me take myself to Town Center Mall and feel the diversity, but then fear walking to my car...almost like I'm at Cumberland...oh, wait wasn't there a shooting there the other day? When will we stop and say "we have had enough"? Smyrna and Marietta had their little make overs so I guess Kennesaw is now the trendy one to be made over. RIP, Big Shanty...atleast you ain't Powder Springs!
Kennsaw Resident
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April 30, 2014
Wow! How terribly sad this situation is for EVERYONE involved and yet this has been turned into a gun rights discussion. Maybe this is what is wrong with America.
Problem is US
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April 30, 2014
Guns are not the problem. Look at where the US is now and how far removed everyone is from what use to be simple. Comment negatively, but the fact is religion is now a thing of the past, family units are no longer stable, schools no longer teaching social skills and have become testing factories, video games have replaced outside activities, and kids are growing up too fast. Our lives have changed in a negative way. Technology has taken away the family time of board games and dinners to fast food and divorce. Kids are mean, and it is all about what you have in order to be popular. Thanks to the greedy politicians and atheists, our world has changed forever. I pray for Geddy's family and the other families of the victims.
ConsultantX
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April 30, 2014
We have got to start asking ourselves why are we experiencing these tragic, senseless acts of violence. And, I'll go ahead ahead and say it's not the... Gun. This young man had firebombs and a knife, in addition to a gun. These were just his choice of tools to do violence against his co-workers. There is more to this than just... Guns!

This young man showed up at his workplace to do people bodily harm. Seemingly, he came to... KILL. So, the question is... why did he feel the need to resort to violence? What did his employer and/or work associates do to him that forced him to take violent action against them? And finally, why did he choose violence over discussion. Why did he shoot people rather than trying to work through whatever problems he was having at work? If he did in fact have a grievance, why couldn't that grievance be resolved in a civil manner?

Frankly, the workplace, school house and other public places have become 'Toxic' environments. These are not friendly and safe places. Rather these places have become environments where we feel unsafe. We're suspicious of others. We don't trust people outside of our... 'clique '. Sometimes we don't trust people inside of our 'Clique". These environments don't give us good... 'vibes". There is constant change and constant volatility. And, as a result, most of the time we're on the defensive, we're ready to protect ourselves. But again, why?

I recently posed this question to a seasoned clinical/industrial psychologist and his answer is... look at our role models. On television the most popular shows are about... voting people off islands, voting people off talent shows, running over people to reach some goal etc etc. Popular sitcoms are focused on extreme situations in which people go to extremes to win over other people. Villains are now our heroes! The bad guy is now our hero. And video games... we kill people for entertainment. These are our role models. These are our young people's role models. And, the message is it's ok to take action to defend your ground. It's ok to knock people off the island. It's ok to knock people out of your workplace.

E. Weems
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April 30, 2014
Go to GOOGLE NEWS right now and put in "Kennesaw'

You will see links to the Fed Ex Shooting, another link with a SWAT standoff with a TEEN and three others at an extended stay motel, and another link about the arrest of five gang members from Acworth and Kennesaw.

Will someone please tell the mayor and his cronies that, with all his apartment complexes and big plans that West Cobb is attracting increasingly dangerous elements? Will someone tell the mayor our town and our area are turning into big piles of crap with amazing rapidity? Will someone tell the mayor and his Svengali's that our neighborhoods and property values are plummeting and that it has nothing to do with the real estate market?
Everyone need a gun
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April 30, 2014
Everyone should have guns. You should be given a gun when you enter kindergarten. This would truly make the world more safe. The only folks who push this are the gun industry. Of course they want you to buy their products. I hear the same story from drug dealers...its not the drugs that kill, its the misuse of the user. Maybe so, but we regulate stupidity for the greater good at times. Giving everyone a firearm is not the answer. You have to take a test to drive a car but not to own and operate a weapon made to end life? That just makes no sense. I am thankful this wannabe workplace assassin didn't know enough about guns and ammo and selected the least effective shotgun and ammo he could get. I hope those shot are eventually ok. As for the shooters family I feel for them as well, the horror, shame and devastation such a cowardly act has cause their family makes no sense. People need to learn how to punch more and shoot less. We are becoming a nation of cowards hiding behind weapons that make us feel powerful when we are anything but.
Old Gumpy
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April 30, 2014
Notice how senseless acts of violence are incresing in schools, homes, places of employment and other places? One possible explanation is demon possesion or meth addition.
Gringo Bandito
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April 30, 2014
There is no trend of increased mass shootings.
I don't know how...
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April 29, 2014
I don't know how this could happen, just look right smack in the middle of this picture, behind the 60 officers and you will see a "Gun-Free Zone" sign.
anonymous
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April 30, 2014
Perplexing isn't it?
Matter of Time
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April 29, 2014
And there still is no Trauma Hospital in Cobb. Those first responders are our first line of defense when events go sideways Mr. Tim Lee. Please give them the tools, pay and benefits they deserve. And the stadium train wreck is on the horizon!
Kathy ryan
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April 29, 2014
Instead of debating the legalities of guns let's pray for the families of the injured as well as the family of the shooter.
anonymous
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April 30, 2014
Right, but let's really pray that some nut with a gun doesn't kill us during the course of our day in the name of freedom!
anonymous
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April 30, 2014
Oh, anonymous...there was certainly no freedom here...they very clearly prohibited guns from being on site. Just look at the sign at the door.
cleaster
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April 29, 2014
I fear this is just the beginning to an already bad situation. More people legally having guns like the wild west. Unstable people drinking and having guns, religious fanatics having guns in church. Teachers in schools. Unskilled. What is this world coming to?
west Cobb 4
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April 29, 2014
Cleaster, what information do you have on the shooter and the gun he used? Do you know he had it legally or illegally? Do you know to whom it belonged? If you had been at the FedEx facility and had the ability and chance to shoot the shooter to stop him, would you have done so?
James67
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April 29, 2014
I sort of fear nuts like you. I'm not afraid of guns.
Clarence B.
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April 29, 2014
So what your saying is, If guns were illegal this guy who was hell bent on committing murder wouldn't because carrying a firearm is against the law ....

Do you see how stupid that sounds ?
Ashlee'
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April 29, 2014
I agree. It really should not be this easy to obtain a weapon as powerful as a gun.
D.G. in Clarkdale
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April 29, 2014
The gun used is being reported as a "shotgun", NOT a rifle. As for the liberty hating posters it's a RIGHT TO OWN FIREARMS, so get over it....
smith & wesson
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April 30, 2014
I knew someone would say that guns had something to do with this! What nonsense, how outrageous!
Southern Patriot
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April 30, 2014
Just more ridiculous anti-Second Amendment rhetoric from an ignorant liberal with chronic verbal diarrhea.
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