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Photographs from inside a Covington law office that was targeted for attack by a suicidal man show walls and furniture riddled with bullet holes.

Covington police are speaking with family members of the man blamed for the attack, 47-year-old Roderick Rist of Slidell.

The St Tammany Coroner’s office says Rist shot and killed himself at the scene.

Only one person was inside the office at the time, a secretary, who hid and managed to avoid getting shot or spotted by the gunman.

According to Covington police, about 60 rounds were fired into the office on Tuesday.

News
07/30/13

Man Fires Roughly 60 Rounds In Covington Law Firm

“I thought maybe it was fire crackers, but when you see fire trucks and all that you say something’s wrong,” says Dinah Christy who was nearby the Upton Law Firm as a gunman opened fire inside.

Police say 47-year-old Roderick Rist of Slidell drove to the Upton Law Firm on the 800 block of North Columbia Street just after 1pm in a silver pickup truck armed with four semi-automatic weapons and several magazines.

They say he started firing from outside, shattering the front door, and he didn’t stop until he made his way in, eventually firing off about 60 rounds before turning the gun on himself.

The Upton Law Firm is just feet away from the Covington Courthouse. Authorities say when they first arrived they prepared for the worst.

“They didn’t know if they were dealing with an active shooter or not. They entered the law office and cleared it and in the process of clearing it found an employee of the law office hiding in the office. They escorted her out safely, continued clearing the building, and in the process found a deceased adult male,” says Captain Jack West with Covington Police.

Tonight attorney Patricia Upton is calling the scene a miracle. She says she decided to take this summer off to stay home with her kids, her husband, Tim Upton, was at a late lunch which rarely happens, their paralegal had a doctor’s appointment, and the office manager who was inside miraculously hid in time.

Upton says Roderick Rist is a former personal injury client dating back to two years ago. His case was settled eight months ago, and just three days ago he had called the firm asking for free help on a case in Orleans Parish.

She says he was referred to an attorney in New Orleans and didn’t hear back from him until this happened. She said Rist had been complaining about his life and sounded depressed.

Police say Rist has an ex-wife and kids. They say they’ll spend tonight processing the scene and begin conducting interviews with his family tomorrow,

News
07/30/13

Gunman identified in Covington law office shooting

photo

(Photo from Covington Police)

47-year-old Roderick Rist of Slidell has been identified as the gunman involved in todays shooting. Coroner’s office confirms he shot and killed himself.

Rist has a wife and kids.

Police say he opened fire outside the Upton Law Firm on Columbia Street and continued firing as he went inside, eventually firing approximately 60 rounds.

An office manager was inside and hid until police found her.

This happened at 1:15 p.m. just as most employees were out to lunch.

So far, two semi automatic handguns have been recovered.

Cpt. Jack West tells WGNO News that one woman was inside the building during the shooting, believed to be the office secretary.

Covington Police Captain Jack West has confirmed to WGNO News that someone shot somewhere between 20 and 80 times inside a lawfirm on N Columbia Street.

Captain West says he is waiting for the coroner’s office to arrive at the scene, which means at least one person is now dead.

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