Arizona Lawyer Shooting Suspect Found Dead
PHOENIX (CN) - An attorney was shot and critically wounded Wednesday and his client was killed in the lobby of a Phoenix office park. The assailant, an opponent in a mediation hearing, was found dead today, apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Attorney Mark Hummels, of Osborn Maledon, was not expected to survive, his law firm said in a statement.
Hummels was representing Steven D. Singer - CEO of call center Fusion Contact Centers - when Arthur D. Harmon shot and killed Singer, 48, and shot Hummels in the neck and back, according to Arizona press reports.
Harmon, 70, fled in a rental car. He was found dead today at a Mesa shopping center, Phoenix police said.
"Mark Hummels is the best kind of lawyer - a man who is highly capable in his practice and caring to his core about his community," his law firm said in a statement. "Above all, Mark is the most decent of men. An adoring husband, dedicated father and true friend, Mark is what all of us aspire to be on our best days."
Hummels, 43, covered local and state government for the Santa Fe New Mexican before attending law school at the University of Arizona. He is president of the Phoenix chapter of the Federal Bar Association, and earned the highest score on the July 2004 Arizona bar exam.
The shooting does not appear to be a random act of violence. Hummels was representing Fusion in a mediation hearing Wednesday. Harmon left the hearing to go to his car and when he did not return, Hummels and Singer decided to leave the building and were shot in the lobby, according to wire reports.
A third victim, Nichole Hampton, was shot in the hand while she was outside the building taking photographs for her job as a human resources director.
Harmon filed a pro se lawsuit against Singer's company in April 2012, claiming Fusion Contact Centers failed to pay him in full to refurbish and move office furniture. Harmon claimed the work could not be completed because the furniture could not be refurbished.
Representing Fusion Contact, Hummels filed a motion for summary judgment on Jan. 8. It sought dismissal, claiming Harmon was seeking "payment pursuant to a contract that was premised on a mutual mistake of fact, was impossible to perform, and was not performed."
Fusion also sought return of the advance payments it made to Harmon for the work that was not completed.
The hearing was at DeConcini, McDonald, Yetwin, & Lacy, a law firm housed in the office park at 7310 N. 16th Street.
Navy Capt. Mark Kelly, husband of former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, broke news of the shooting to Congress Wednesday during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun control.
"While we were having this hearing, and we certainly don't know the details, but in Phoenix, Ariz. there is another, what seems to be a shooting with multiple victims," said Kelly, a retired astronaut. His wife, who is recovering from being shot in the head, spoke in favor of controls on assault weapons.
Also Wednesday, an Arizona Senate panel approved a bill that states that no federally licensed dealer or federal official will "enforce or attempt to enforce any act, law, statute, rule or regulation of the United States government relating to a personal firearm, a firearm accessory or ammunition that is owned or manufactured commercially or privately in this state and that remains exclusively within the borders of this state."
Senate Bill 1112 , sponsored by Republican Kelli Ward of Lake Havasu City, next moves to the Senate Rules Committee.
Also Wednesday, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced that he will buy 400 semi-automatic assault rifles, to equip each sheriff's deputy's patrol vehicle. The weapons, which will be paid for using the Sheriff's Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Fund, will make the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office "home to the largest number of semi-automatic assault weapons in the county," Arpaio said in a statement.