Tax Garnishment Cause of Shooting Spree

In apparent response to the discovery that the IRS had ordered his company to garnish his wages for back taxes, a Massachusetts software tester came to work bearing a semiautomatic assault rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun, and a pistol, and killed seven members of the company accounting department.

Michael McDermott, 42, had recently learned of the garnishment, which would have extracted "a couple thousand dollars" from his wages for back taxes and related penalties and interest. His employer at Edgewater Technology, Inc. had promised that the garnishment would not begin until after the holidays.

McDermott, who was nicknamed "Mucko," was said to be on medication and had received psyciatric help in the past. According to co-workers, he was described as a good worker, but one with a history of coming in late. He came to work last Tuesday and began shooting. When he discovered that several members of the accounting department had barricaded themselves behind a locked door, he shot off the door and fired at several members of the group.

McDermott's defense attorney has entered a plea of not guilty on McDermott's behalf. The defendant was found by police at the scene of the crime, surrounded by his weapons and sitting quietly near one of the dead bodies.

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