ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) A man taken to the hospital after the shooting at FreightCar America tells Your Hometown Station he's not satisfied with the level of security at the facility.
"You can just walk right in," Travis Valderrama said to WDBJ7 Anchor Chris Hurst. "I mean this guy just came out of nowhere and just started shooting people." His wife told Hurst she was informed by FreightCar America management that "changes are coming" and "security will be increased."
Valderrama is a welder and was just starting his shift Tuesday morning.
He got gloves from a locker when he saw the shooting unfold. Two men were shot and then he saw the gunman aim at him.
"He let off a round and I took off running," he said, adding the man was only a few feet away. He said the bullet went through his partially zipped chemical protective suit and through his name tag. He saw later his chest was injured, although he said he did not need stitches.
Daniel Wesley Brown, 56, of Montvale died in the shooting. WDBJ7 spoke to his girlfriend earlier.
Keith Dwayne Law, 31, of Rocky Mount, was hurt. Gary David Koran, 32, of Roanoke, was also hurt. Valderrama, 31, of Catawba, was sent to the hospital as well.
A Carilion spokesman says Law and Koran are still in the hospital. They are both in fair condition at this time.
Police say the gunman opened fire at the FreightCar America facility in Roanoke early Tuesday before killing himself. They say the 53-year-old entered the U.S. from Kenya legally through a refugee immigration program, but was fired by the company in March when he stopped showing up for work.
Valderrama said he didn't know him and couldn't see the man's face during the shooting. He wishes he tried to help his fellow coworkers instead of running but that his brain took over during the act.
"I don't want them to think that I left them behind," he said. "That wasn't my intention."
This wasn't the first time Valderrama has seen gun violence up close. As a child living in Martinsville, he saw his father get shot by robbers during a home invasion. Tuesday night, he went back to his hometown to be around his father and the rest of his family and will take some time to be with them. But he says he wants to go back to work.
"I'm not going to let nothing like this put me down knowing that I lost a coworker or some of my coworkers got injured in this," he said. "I'm not going to do that. I eventually will come back."