Two longtime employees of Palmer Engineering died Friday afternoon after a man came into the business, shot the office manager twice with a handgun, then shot himself once in the head, police said.
Melanie Gabbard, 54, was shot by Rick Lambert, 43, said Winchester police Capt. James Hall. The two had been romantically involved at some point, but Hall said he did not know the extent of the relationship. Lambert had worked for Palmer Engineering for at least 20 years, while Gabbard had worked for the company even longer, Hall said.
The shooting was reported at the company’s office on Shoppers Drive on Winchester’s west side shortly after 12:30 p.m. No one else at the business was hurt.
The shooting happened in Gabbard’s first-floor office. Other employees in the building heard the shots but didn’t see the shooting, Hall said.
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“There were no threats made to anybody else, that we know of,” Hall said. “He didn’t confront anyone else. It appears he went straight for her office and that’s where the incident occurred.”
Police searched Lambert’s residence Friday night for any evidence that would indicate a cause for the shooting, Hall said.
“We recovered numerous documents, photographs,” Hall said. “We just walked back into the (police department), building so we haven’t had a chance to analyze anything.”
The seized documents included handwritten notes that were apparently written by Lambert, Hall said.
Autopsies are scheduled to be performed Saturday on both bodies by the state medical examiner’s office in Frankfort.
Palmer Engineering does a variety of engineering services for road projects including bridge design, surveying, and environmental permitting.