Officials: Police saved lives in postal shooting

December 2, 2011 - 9:25 AM
Shots Fired Post Office

Law enforcement officers gather outside the Winton Blount U.S. Post Office in Montgomery, Ala., after a gunman opened fire inside the structure, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011. No one was injured and authorities have a suspect in custody. The post office was evacuated and surrounding streets were cordoned off by police during the incident. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Postal officials say a heavy police presence at a nearby mall for the holidays helped save lives when a gunman armed with several pistols fired multiple shots in Alabama at a large mail processing area at Montgomery's main post office.

A suspect was quickly apprehended, and no one was wounded in the Thursday night gunfire.

Authorities said early Friday they were preparing to reopen the mail processing area. A postal service official says counselors will be available during the day for employees.

Police Chief Kevin Murphy says the suspect is in his late 20s or early 30s. He didn't name the suspect and said federal postal officials would decide on charges.

The ordeal began around 6:38 p.m., when post office employees called 911 reporting gunshots.