Neighbors of workplace shooter discuss the man they thought they knew

By Rob Manch - Reporter
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ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - Every one of Getachew Fekede's neighbors WSLS 10 talked with is absolutely shocked that he could be capable of killing others.

None of them had ever seen him with a weapon and some said they had even heard him talking about disliking guns.

Some who were closer to Fekede said he was depressed, which began when he lost his job at FreightCar America back in March.

Clarence Jones, who said he spoke with Fekede every day, said that Fekede had been sending money to his ill mother.

"He was telling me then you know that it's going to be a struggle now to try to take care of his mother. He didn't really know what may happen to her now, you know what I'm saying? Now that he had no finances coming in you know, so I guess, after a period of time, everything just build up," said Jones.

Jones also said that from talking with Fekede, he knew he had issues with a specific co-worker while working at FreightCar America.

Andria Brown said she has known Fekede for the past five years, ever since he first immigrated to the country. While she said he did seem to be depressed, she didn't think he would ever turn to violence.

"He was gentle. He was quiet. Very nice, you know. Looked out for other people and he might have been depressed, but I would never have expected anything like this to happen," said Brown.

Frank Myers said that in all the time he has lived here, Fekede was pleasant and overall a good neighbor, which is why it was such a shock for him and several others who live here to learn what their neighbor had done.

"Everybody was just surprised that, that peaceful, sweet guy did that, but that's the kind that, something bears on the mind very deeply, and he couldn't resurrect himself," said Myers.

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