1996 Jackson firehouse shooting

The 1996 Jackson Firehouse Shooting was a mass murder that took place on April 25, 1996, at a firehouse in Jackson, Mississippi in the United States. Firefighter Kenneth Tornes fatally shot four of his supervisors, after killing his wife earlier that day.

1996 Jackson firehouse shooting
Part of mass shootings in the United States
LocationJackson, Mississippi
DateApril 25, 1996
Attack type
Mass murder, Mass shooting
Weapons9 mm pistol, Rifle
Deaths5 (4 at the firehouse and 1 at the perpetrator's home)
PerpetratorKenneth Tornes
ConvictionsCapital murder


Early in the morning of April 25, 1996, Tornes went to the home of his estranged wife Glenda, 42. Neighbors heard gunshots, but weren't alarmed until they spotted Tornes washing blood off of himself in the home's carport.

As police approached the home, Tornes set out for fire department headquarters. He passed a coworker shouting "Lady, get back, I am going to blow the place up!" He was armed with a rifle and walked from office to office, killing four supervisors and wounding two others.

Tornes felt slighted by department officials, who had recently reprimanded Tornes multiple times, which Torned felt were undeserved. The firefighters' union chief said Tornes was a "a time bomb waiting to go off". Other coworkers expressed expectancy: "He's been talking about this for years... I'm surprised it took so long." Tornes specifically targeted his superiors; Tornes walked past one coworker who pled for his life, and told another to get themselves and their fire-dog out of the way.

Tornes victims were: Captain Merideth Moree, 49; District Chief Dwight Craft, 48; Captain Stan Adams, 45; and District Chief Rick Robbins, 47.[1]

After departing the fire station, Tornes led police officers on a high-speed chase to the parking lot of a nearby shopping center in Ridgeland, Mississippi. Tornes wounded one officer in a shootout before being shot in his left eye.[2] He recovered, and was eventually tried and convicted for the slayings. He was sentenced to death, but died of a blood clot on death row.[3]


Kenneth Tornes was a Jackson native, who neighbors and childhood friends had generally referred to as competent at his job. He was seen as broadly likable, though prone to mood shifts. Friends recalled his preoccupation with physical fitness, and his affinity for cartoons and The Terminator. Those who knew him noted his propensity for violent mood swings, and an irascibility that had reached fever pitch in the days before the shooting. Weeks before, a white supremacist shooter had shot multiple people at a Jackson mall, killing one. Tornes joined the discussion to say that someone might do something that drastic to the fire department soon. In the leadup, a neighbor described him as "like a nut" and "real moody". Police were called to the ex-couple's shared home on a domestic violence call, but no charges resulted.[4][5]


  1. ^ Associated Press (April 25, 1996). "Fireman was 'time bomb waiting'". Deseret News. Archived from the original on June 28, 2021. Retrieved June 27, 2021.
  2. ^ Associated Press (April 25, 1996). "Firefighter Kills Wife and 4 Officials". The New York Times. Vol. 145, no. 50408. p. 37. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 27, 2021.
  3. ^ Goldberg, Carey (December 27, 2000). "7 Die in Rampage at Company; Co-Worker of Victims Arrested". The New York Times. Vol. 150, no. 51615. pp. 1, 15. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 27, 2021.
  4. ^ Hughes, Jay; Regland, Lee; Brooks, Tracyi (April 25, 1996). "5 killed in shooting rampage". The Clarion-Ledger. Jackson, Mississippi. pp. 1, 10. Retrieved June 29, 2021.
  5. ^ Zimmer, Josh (April 25, 1996). "Friends, neighbors recall Tornes as moody". The Clarion-Ledger. Jackson, Mississippi. pp. 1, 10. Retrieved June 29, 2021.