Ex-employee blamed in fatal Co-op City shooting

CO-OP CITY - Police said a former employee shot and killed one person and injured two others, one critically, at a Co-op City housing project Thursday.

The alleged shooter, Paulino Valenzuela, fled first but then turned himself in at the Bronx Criminal Courthouse shortly after the incident.

According to court papers, Valenzuela was fired in February 2005 from his job as a porter at the housing complex for making threats against other employees. He had a record of disciplinary action over the years and was fired when he hit a supervisor.

Last week, he lost a discrimination lawsuit brought against his former employer.

Police say around 8 a.m., Valenzuela entered a basement office at the location and killed his 59-year-old former supervisor by shooting him in the chest. After leaving the basement, they say he shot two other people.

Co-workers, friends and neighbors say the slain supervisor was an easygoing, nice man. He had just celebrated his birthday.

One of the victims was hospitalized in critical condition with a neck wound. He is currently at Jacobi Medical Center. The other was treated for a gunshot wound to the arm and released.

Residents say the shootings are hard on them. They have a personal relationship with the victims from seeing them every day.

Valenzuela is awaiting arraignment. AP Wires contributed to this story.

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