Police discuss fitness center shootings in press conference

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George Sodini had a general hatred for women, but he had no relationship to any of the 12 he shot at the LA Fitness Center in Collier last night, Allegheny County Police Superintendent Charles Moffatt said.

Three women remain in critical condition; five are serious; and one has been treated and released from UPMC Mercy.

Police don't believe their injuries are life-threatening.

"He had no relationship to anyone in the club that we know of," Superintendent Moffatt said during an afternoon news conference, where police offered new glimpses into the chaotic shootings and the conflicted, "hateful" man behind them.

Mr. Sodini had four guns on his person when he walked into the health club just before 8 p.m. last night -- two .9mm handguns, a .45 caliber revolver and a .32 semi-automatic, which he never brandished but kept in his pocket. Mr. Sodini had been to the health club three times during the day, starting about 11 a.m. He returned at 7:40 p.m., stepped out to make a cell phone call to an unidentified person, and again at 7:56 p.m., when he walked into a second-floor excercise room where an aerobics class was taking place, turned off the lights and started shooting.

Mr. Sodini fired at least 30 bullets during the ordeal, begining with a .9mm handgun. When he had emptied that weapon, he dropped it and started shooting with the second handgun. He dropped the second handgun, leaving 12 rounds inside, then and picked up the .45, which he fired just once -- into the left side of his head.

Mr. Sodini collapsed against a wall between a set of aerobic steps. The gunfire happened over the course of just one minute, Superintendent Moffatt said.

Police found additional ammunition in a gym bag he used to carry the guns into the fitness center.

Also inside the bag was a typed note, in which Mr. Sodini complained about rejection from women and his hatred for them. Detectives found a second, handwritten note when they searched Mr. Sodini's house. That note suggests Mr. Sodini planned to end his life.

Police found other items inside the Scott Township house, including a gym schedule on which Mr. Sodini had circled the Latin Impact class, suggesting he targeted it. Superintendent Moffatt said he likely picked that class because it was exclusively for women.

"He had a lot of hatred for women," he said, "And he was hellbent on committing this act and nothing was going to stop him."


Sadie Gurman can be reached at sgurman@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1768.


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