Support the news
A man who sprayed bullets into a fitness center class filled with women apparently kept a Web page in which he wrote about years of rejection by women, struggles with alcohol, domineering and bullying family members and an earlier failed shooting attempt.
Neighbors described 48-year-old George Sodini as anti-social, and the Web page in his name showcased a resume setting forth his credentials as an unhappy loner. It listed his date of death - Aug. 4, 2009 - and his status of "Never married." The page ended with the words "Death Lives!"
On Tuesday night, the gunman walked into the fitness center, entered a "Latin impact" dance aerobics class and placed a duffel bag on the ground. After pausing a few moments, he took out at least two guns out of the bag and started shooting.
Three women were killed and nine people were injured. Police say may have fired as many as 52 shots before turning the gun on himself.
"He walked right into the room where the shootings occurred as if he knew exactly where he was going," Allegheny County police Superintendent Charles Moffatt said. "I think he went in with the idea of doing what he did."
Authorities identified the gunman as Sodini on Wednesday morning.
The 4,610-word Web page, on a domain registered in Sodini's name, appeared to be a nine-month chronology of his plans to commit the shooting, his decision to delay it and the process that led to the eventual carnage at the health club Tuesday. Authorities did not immediately confirm that the site belonged to Sodini, but the elaborate nature of the comments so soon after the shootings suggested authenticity.
"The biggest problem of all is not having relationships or friends, but not being able to achieve and acquire what I desire in those or many other areas," said an entry dated Sunday. "Everthing stays the same regardless of the effert I put in. If I had control over my life then I would be happier. But for about the past 30 years, I have not."
The Web site's author wrote of planning the attack since at least November, and had tried to do it when the same Tuesday-night dance aerobics class he targeted met on Jan. 6.
"It is 8:45PM: I chickened out!" he wrote. "I brought the loaded guns, everything. Hell!"
The violence rocked the suburban Pittsburgh town of about 5,300 residents some eight miles southwest of downtown Pittsburgh.
Joann Gazzam, a member of the weekly "Latin impact" dance aerobics class, saw the gunman walk to the back of the room near some weights, set down a bag and fumble with it for a few minutes before coming up with what appeared to be two guns and opening fire, according to her sister, Debi Wozniak, of suburban Dormont.
Gazzam told Wozniak that the instructor was among those who appeared to have been shot, and that the gunman had killed himself.
"She told me, 'Debi, I seen everything. Oh, my God, I seen everything. I seen him pull out the guns,"' said Wozniak, who usually attends the class ever Tuesday from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. but was running late and didn't make it. Police say the shooting happened about 8:15 p.m.
The clean-shaven gunman walked in the room wearing workout gear, turned off the lights and, at first nobody knew what was happening, said Stacey Falk, 26, of Bridgeville, who was in the class.
"All of us girls were just ducking behind each other and it was just, you know, I was behind a girl, one of the girls in front to get hit, and when he was in the opposite corner shooting, I booked it," she told WPXI-TV.
This program aired on August 5, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.
Support the news