A Florida sugar mill worker shot his employer, for whom he had been working for more than three decades, after learning that he was fired, authorities said.
Felix Cabrera, 86, had asked his employer if he could continue working at the sugar mill for another year due to financial difficulties, but the employer replied “No,” the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said on Friday, June 4.
“Cabrera became upset, pulled the gun out of his pocket and shot the victim several times, killing him,” authorities said.
The 67-year-old victim was an employee of Sugar Cane Growers in Belle Glade. However, his identity remains unknown.
Cabrera was jailed without bail on a charge of premeditated first-degree murder, police said.
The victim was lying dead near the building’s entryway. Cabrera was still armed when local police arrived at the scene.
“The shooting appears to be a planned event,” the sheriff’s office said, adding, “Deputies arriving within minutes of the shooting may have prevented the suspect’s ability to shoot anyone else.”
The company released a statement on Twitter, saying that it was “horrified and deeply saddened by the senseless violence.”
“The victim was part of the Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative family, and we are praying for the victim’s loved ones, as well as all our team members and growers,” the statement read.
According to its website, the cooperative is made up of 44 small to medium-sized member farms that cultivate sugarcane on about 70,000 acres in the Everglades Agricultural Area.
Each year, the cooperative produces more than 350,000 tons of raw sugar, enough to cover the needs of more than 9 million people once refined.