Ken Fazzari crouched in terror beneath a desk in the office of The Evening News as footsteps came toward him.
Moments earlier, two shotgun blasts had shattered the Thursday morning hum of activity in the building. He had seen circulation manager Anthony Gillespie mortally wounded. Now someone was walking in the direction of Fazzari, the newspaper's editor."I was just thinking, you know, `Oh my God. What next?' because I really thought it was the shooter. Thank God it was one of my co-workers," he said.
Fazzari grabbed a phone and called 911 before he and the newspaper's advertising manager bolted for the back door, where police were waiting. About 15 employees remained inside for nearly five hours as police surrounded the building, thinking the gunman might be holding hostages.
It now appears he left shortly after the shooting. The suspect, newspaper carrier Nathan Hanna, was still at large Friday. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.
The attack shocked Sault Ste. Marie, a tourist town of 18,000 on the Canadian border about 350 miles north of Detroit on the eastern end of Michigan's rural Upper Peninsula.
"Sault Ste. Marie is a peaceful community," Mayor Bill Lynn said. "You can walk the streets at 3 or 4 in the morning.
Police offered no motive. Neighbors of Hanna said they knew of no problems he might have had with Gillespie, his supervisor.
"He was quite a family man. I've never seen the man angry. He just strikes me as Mr. Joe Average," said Marjorie Rossio, whose summer home is across the street from Hanna's residence, 15 miles south of town.
The gunman entered the newspaper office around 9:30 a.m.
Fazzari said he heard a shot, turned and saw Hanna pointing a shotgun at Gillespie, who had been hit. As the second shot went off, Fazzari herded panic-stricken colleagues toward the rear of the building. He led about a dozen to the darkroom and told them to lock the door, then ducked under the desk with another employee.
The workers in the darkroom stayed in touch with police by phone until officers entered and brought them out, he said.
Gillespie, 48, was an Air Force veteran who had worked at the newspaper about six years. He was married and had three sons, all of whom worked at The Evening News. None were at the office during the shooting.
The paper did not publish Thursday. Fazzari said he doesn't expect it to publish again before Monday.