Patrick Condon

MINNEAPOLIS: Andrew Engeldingers parents were worried about their sons growing paranoia. In 2010, they sought help, enrolling in a 12-week class for families of the mentally ill.

For the last 21 months, the family said they reached out in hopes he would seek treatment. It was to no avail, as Engeldinger spurned their attempts at contact.

On Thursday night, they learned he was the gunman in Minnesotas deadliest workplace shooting. Police say Engeldinger fatally shot five people and wounded three at Accent Signage Systems in Minneapolis before turning the gun on himself.

Its not unusual when youre isolating yourself, which we know that he did, that eventually the only people you have left is your family and your co-workers, and often your paranoia translates to them, Sue Abderholden, a mental health organization executive who is serving as spokeswoman for Engeldingers family, said Saturday.

Engeldinger never sought treatment to his familys knowledge, Abderholden said, and was never diagnosed with a specific illness.

Police say the 36-year-old Engeldinger shot and killed Reuven Rahamim, the founder of Accent Signage Systems; employees Ronald Edberg, Rami Cooks and Jacob Beneke; and Keith Basinski, a UPS driver who made a delivery at the wrong time. Two other employees remained hospitalized, one in critical condition and the other in serious condition.

The officers who responded to what police Chief Tim Dolan called a hellish scene eventually found Engeldingers body in the basement. Officers who searched his south Minneapolis home later Thursday found another gun and packaging for 10,000 rounds of ammunition.

Police and company representatives have not yet said why Engeldinger was fired from a job he had held since the late 1990s.

Jim Dow, a sales representative who frequently visited the business, said Saturday that hed spoken to Accent employees and family members of victims.

He said they told him that in recent months, Engeldinger had been running afoul of managers with confrontational behavior and unexplained absences from work.

He was getting mouthy, belligerent, Dow said. Cooks, whos been described as Rahamims right-hand man, would take him aside and tell him thats not acceptable, Dow said. Hed straighten up for a while and then this would crop up again.

Dolan said it was clear that Engeldinger targeted some victims while bypassing others. Many of those killed or injured were management.

Engeldinger wasnt always a problematic employee.

Barry Lawrence, an ex-employee, trained Engeldinger on a sign engraving machine and recalled that he was sharp, intelligent. He said though Engeldinger mostly kept to himself, hed occasionally join his co-workers for drinks after work. But upon hearing of the shooting, Lawrence said he had a gut reaction.

To tell you the truth, my first thought was Andy, said Lawrence, who left Accent in 2003. He was pleasant enough to work around, but he just seemed a little off all the time. You get a feeling about people, nothing you can put your finger on.