Florida rampage: An employee who attacks other employees with a baseball bat and knife; 2 died, 1 criticized

A Pennsylvania electrician who worked at a workplace in Florida went on a strike with a baseball bat and knife starting Saturday, resulting in the death of two of his colleagues and leaving a third fighting for his life, authorities said.

Suspected, 39-year-old Shaun Runyon, was working in Polk County, Florida, with a Pennsylvania power company working for Publix Supermarket when a job dispute prompted him to return to his rented company and attacked several people, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said during a news conference.

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Authorities said Runyon beat the supervisor at work around 2 a.m. Friday and fled. He has not been seen or heard since 9:45 a.m. Saturday when police received a report of a murder in Davenport, Florida, in an area owned by Runyon and his staff.

According to authorities, Runyon beat the victim to death with a baseball bat while he was lying on a bed, and a second victim was killed on the front porch. A third was severely beaten and was in the hospital in “critical condition.”

A fourth person was hit in the neck with a knife by Runyon but escaped, authorities said. Three other victims, including a seven-year-old girl, escaped unharmed.

After the attack, Runyon fled and knocked on the door of a house in Lake Wales, Florida, covered in blood and told homeowners he had been raped, authorities said. He then shed his blood-stained clothes and went to the hospital with the recommendation of the landlords. He was taken into custody by police at the hospital.

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Runyon confessed that he knew the victims, authorities said, but did not know the motive.

“We did not know what made him so angry that it took 24 hours for him to return and try to kill each of them,” the chief told reporters.

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Judd added that Runyon had a criminal record in Pennsylvania that included the violent arrests associated with strangulation.

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