Fired years ago, man kills guard at fed building

Strategic Response Group officers and detectives were quickly on the scene after the shooting at the federal building at 201 Varick St.   Photos by Tequila Minsky

Strategic Response Group officers and detectives were quickly on the scene after the shooting at the federal building at 201 Varick St. Photos by Tequila Minsky

Last Friday afternoon, deadly violence hit Hudson Square as a disgruntled former government worker shot and killed a security guard at the federal building at 201 Varick St. at Houston St.

After slaying the guard, the man encountered a friend in the lobby who he knew from the New York Athletic Club, who slowly backed away toward the elevator, according to The New York Times. The gunman then turned the weapon on himself and took his own life.

The guard, Idrissa Camara, 53, was pronounced dead just before 6 p.m. at Lenox Health Greenwich Village, according to police. The shooter, Kevin Downing, 68, of Fort Lee, N.J., was pronounced dead at the scene.

federal-building-2Detectives, plainclothes officers and dozens of Strategic Response Group officers, as well as other police and emergency vehicles, quickly converged on the scene.

According to reports, Downing harbored a 15-year grudge over being fired from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which has an office on the building’s eighth floor. He had protested in vain that he was canned for being a whistleblower after arguing that the bureau’s moving its regional office to New Jersey was a waste of taxpayers’ money.

Downing had no connection to Camara, a father of four. A representative of a whistleblower-advocacy group quoted by the Times, described Downing as “obsessive” about his case. Authorities ruled out any connection to terrorism.

federal-building-3This Monday, there were at least four Homeland Security officers guarding the building’s Varick St. doors, while the Houston St. entrance, through which the gunman had entered, remained temporarily closed. They were still “cleaning it up,” according to the officers.

Lincoln Anderson
and Tequila Minsky

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