Year Anniversary of Cupertino Quarry Shootings

The cement plant has created a memorial garden for the three slain workers.

On Friday, flags flew half-staff at Cupertino Cith Hall and at a quarry nearby where a disgruntled employee pulled out an assault rifle and a handgun, killing three co-workers and injuring six others.

The gesture was to mark the one-year anniversary of the tragic pre-dawn shooting rampage at the Lehigh Southwest Cement Plant at 24001 Stevens Creek Boulevard.

Since that time, the plant has created a memorial garden for the victims: John Robert Vallejos, 51, and Mark Munoz, 59, both of San Jose, and as Manuel Guadalupe Pinon, 48, of Newman.

NBC Bay Area tried contacting some of the family and friends of these men, but requests for interviews were declined.

The gunman, Shareef Allman, was killed a day later in a Sunnyvale driveway. He had tried to escape authorities after the unexpected 4 a.m. shooting, but was spotted after an intensive manhunt. During that hunt, he had carjacked a car from a woman and wounded her, too.

Originally, it appeared as thought Santa Clara County Sheriff's deputies had killed Allman, but an autopsy revealed that Allman had actually committed suicide.

In an interview this week with NBC Bay Area, former colleague David Ricardo said he was chatting with Allman - a friend of his - at the Bay 101 Casino in San Jose the night before the shooting. Allman was very upset, Ricardo recalled, because he felt people were out to get him at work and because he was going to be written up for another company violation that he didn't feel was warranted. Also, he had been vocal in the past that he felt he was unfairly judged because he was black.

“His exact words were, 'Don’t they know how mad they are making me and how many guns I have and how much I can hurt them' ?”  Ricardo recalled.

Allman did hurt them. He walked into a safety meeting at the plant and got into some sort of fight with his co-workers. He left the meeting, and came back with a .223-caliber assault rifle and a .40-caliber handgun. Allman grew up in East Palo Alto in a family plagued by domestic abuse, though friends and pastors called him a community activist and a funny man who they didn't know to be violent. He hosted a black empowerment show, "Real 2 Real," and he had written a book about fictional domestic abuse victim who overcame her troubles.

He had told several people that he had felt racially discriminated at work, and that he hated that he had been switched to work the night shift at the quarry.

As Ricardo thinks about it now, a year later, Allman's former colleague said he gently tried to discourage Allman from being so angry, but at the time, he didn't take him all that seriously.

"Maybe" Ricardo said, "I could have done more."

NBC Bay Area's Kris Sanchez contributed to this report.

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