Pictured: Law firm partner who shot dead colleague

  • John Mendoza, 68, shot dead a fellow attorney and injured one other on Friday
  • The deadly events happened at a law firm holiday party in Long Beach, California
  • The victim killed was Major A Langer, 75, a senior partner at the prominent firm
  • Langer reportedly tried to fire Mendoza, who is also a father, moments before the deadly incident
  • Ronald Beck, another senior partner, was injured and taken to the hospital in serious but stable condition
  • Police said they responded to a call of an active shooter around 2:25pm
  • Authorities later confirmed it was actually a 'workplace violence incident'
  • The gunman had reportedly been fired from the firm and returned to open fire on the company's holiday party

By Jessa Schroeder and Abigail Miller For Dailymail.com and Associated Press

Published: 19:41 EST, 30 December 2017 | Updated: 19:46 EST, 30 December 2017

The man who shot dead a fellow attorney and wounded another before turning the gun on himself Friday at a Southern California holiday party has been identified.

A coroner named 58-year-old family man John Mendoza responsible in the murder-suicide at Bixby Knolls Law office in Long Beach around 2:25pm, according to the Press Telegram.

Mendoza killed 75-year-old Major A Langer during the office Christmas party where employees gathered together to celebrate and win prizes.

It had been revealed that Langer attempted to fire Mendoza right before the deadly events went down.

He also injured Ronald Beck, who runs day-to-day operations at the firm.

Beck is currently in serious but stable condition and was rushed to the hospital by his son after the shooting.

Long Beach police responded to Bixby Knolls amid reports of an active shooter, but realized after it was actually a 'workplace violence incident'.

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John Mendoza (pictured) an expert in workplace legal issues, has been named as the disgruntled law firm partner who shot and killed another partner in Long Beach, California

John Mendoza (pictured) an expert in workplace legal issues, has been named as the disgruntled law firm partner who shot and killed another partner in Long Beach, California

Mendoza is seen on Facebook smiling with his son, Matt Mendoza, back in June, just months before the Friday tragedyMendoza is seen on Facebook smiling with his son, Matt Mendoza, back in June, just months before the Friday tragedy

Mendoza is seen on Facebook smiling with his son, Matt Mendoza, back in June, just months before the Friday tragedy

A buff Mendoza is pictured in August with his dog on social media. He opened fire at the law firm holiday party after he reportedly got firedA buff Mendoza is pictured in August with his dog on social media. He opened fire at the law firm holiday party after he reportedly got fired

A buff Mendoza is pictured in August with his dog on social media. He opened fire at the law firm holiday party after he reportedly got fired

The gunman, who hasn't yet been identified, shot dead Major A Langer, 75, at Bixby Knolls Law office in Long Beach around 2.25pmThe gunman, who hasn't yet been identified, shot dead Major A Langer, 75, at Bixby Knolls Law office in Long Beach around 2.25pmHe also injured Ronald Beck, who runs day-to-day operations at the firmHe also injured Ronald Beck, who runs day-to-day operations at the firm

Mendoza shot dead Major A Langer, 75, (shown left) at Bixby Knolls Law office in Long Beach around 2.25pm. He also injured Ronald Beck, (right) who runs day-to-day operations at the firm

 Long Beach police responded to the Bixby Knolls neighborhood of Long Beach, amid reports of an active shooter around 2.25pm. They have now clarified it was actually a 'workplace violence incident'  Long Beach police responded to the Bixby Knolls neighborhood of Long Beach, amid reports of an active shooter around 2.25pm. They have now clarified it was actually a 'workplace violence incident' 

Long Beach police responded to the Bixby Knolls neighborhood of Long Beach, amid reports of an active shooter around 2.25pm. They have now clarified it was actually a 'workplace violence incident'

There were three men involved, two of whom were killed, including Mendoza, according to police.  Pictured is the building, believed to house law offices, with windows covered in Christmas displays featuring candy canes and Santa ClauseThere were three men involved, two of whom were killed, including Mendoza, according to police.  Pictured is the building, believed to house law offices, with windows covered in Christmas displays featuring candy canes and Santa Clause

There were three men involved, two of whom were killed, including Mendoza, according to police. Pictured is the building, believed to house law offices, with windows covered in Christmas displays featuring candy canes and Santa Clause

Long Beach City Councilman Al Austin told the LA Times that the Mendoza was a former employee and that he shot and killed one person before turning the gun on himself. Austin represents the Bixby Knolls area and was briefed by police.

Mendoza is pictured on Facebook smiling with his family and dog in the months prior to the deadly events.

His biography said he studied political science at the University of California, Los Angeles and studied law at Pepperdine University.

The late Langer's friend described the lawyer as 'the most caring, sincere man I probably ever met'.

Jim Hall said: 'He just had a heart of gold and really cared for everybody who works at the firm and considers them members of his family … He certainly didn't deserve this.'

Langer has practiced law for 51 years and represented notable people such as Pamela Anderson, according to the Orange County Register.

Langer (right) has practiced law for 51 years and represented notable people such as Pamela Anderson (shown at a press conference in 1997 in Beverly Hills, California)Langer (right) has practiced law for 51 years and represented notable people such as Pamela Anderson (shown at a press conference in 1997 in Beverly Hills, California)

Langer (right) has practiced law for 51 years and represented notable people such as Pamela Anderson (shown at a press conference in 1997 in Beverly Hills, California)

Langer (right) 'represented actress Pamela Anderson in a breach of contract lawsuit and won numerous six- to seven-figure verdicts,' the Orange County Register reportsLanger (right) 'represented actress Pamela Anderson in a breach of contract lawsuit and won numerous six- to seven-figure verdicts,' the Orange County Register reports

Langer (right) 'represented actress Pamela Anderson in a breach of contract lawsuit and won numerous six- to seven-figure verdicts,' the Orange County Register reports

'Langer was well-known in legal circles, having tried 75 civil and criminal cases to verdict,' the firm's website said.

'He handled Weber vs. the city of Rolling Hills, a 14-month trial that is believed to be the longest trial in the history of California, represented actress Pamela Anderson in a breach of contract lawsuit and won numerous six- to seven-figure verdicts.'

A murder investigation is currently underway at the scene and a handgun was found in the office, according to the Long Beach Post. No officers were involved in the shooting.

Sgt Brad Johnson said the shooter died from a self-inflicted gun would, and didn't engage with any officers. It's not clear if he was dead before they got to the scene.

Video showed people running from an unmarked building shouting about a shooting inside.

A woman is escorted away from the Bixby Knolls law office after Friday afternoon's shootingA woman is escorted away from the Bixby Knolls law office after Friday afternoon's shooting

A woman is escorted away from the Bixby Knolls law office after Friday afternoon's shooting

Video of the incident show lines of police cars blocking the streetVideo of the incident show lines of police cars blocking the streetIt also shows workers at neighboring office buildings coming out to watch the scene unfoldIt also shows workers at neighboring office buildings coming out to watch the scene unfold

Video of the incident show lines of police cars blocking the street and workers at neighboring office buildings coming out to watch the scene unfold

A murder investigation is currently underway at the scene and a handgun was found in the office, according to the Long Beach PostA murder investigation is currently underway at the scene and a handgun was found in the office, according to the Long Beach Post

A murder investigation is currently underway at the scene and a handgun was found in the office, according to the Long Beach Post

No officers were involved in the shooting, and it's not clear if the gunman shot himself before or after they entered the buildingNo officers were involved in the shooting, and it's not clear if the gunman shot himself before or after they entered the building

No officers were involved in the shooting, and it's not clear if the gunman shot himself before or after they entered the building

The two-story building, with windows decorated with Christmas displays featuring candy canes and Santa Claus, is home to several law offices.

Dozens of police officers, including members of a SWAT team, surrounded the building and blocked off surrounding streets. Multiple ambulances arrived to the scene.

Police later confirmed that it wasn't an active shooter situation, despite initial reports, but instead a 'workplace violence incident.'

'They did so with the understanding that the suspect was alive and lying in wait to shoot them inside,' a source told the Press Telegram about why the incident was first marked an active shooter.

Officers searched the firm room to room to be sure everyone was accounted for and there were no other gunmen, police said.

Sgt Brad Johnson said the shooter died from a self-inflicted gun would, and didn't engage with any officers. It's not clear if he was dead before they got to the scene.  A video shows police cars lining the street outside the office buildingSgt Brad Johnson said the shooter died from a self-inflicted gun would, and didn't engage with any officers. It's not clear if he was dead before they got to the scene.  A video shows police cars lining the street outside the office building

Sgt Brad Johnson said the shooter died from a self-inflicted gun would, and didn't engage with any officers. It's not clear if he was dead before they got to the scene. A video shows police cars lining the street outside the office building

 Long Beach City Councilman Al Austin told the Times that the shooter was a former employee and that he shot and killed one person before turning the gun on himself. Austin represents the Bixby Knolls area and was briefed by police Long Beach City Councilman Al Austin told the Times that the shooter was a former employee and that he shot and killed one person before turning the gun on himself. Austin represents the Bixby Knolls area and was briefed by police

Long Beach City Councilman Al Austin told the Times that the shooter was a former employee and that he shot and killed one person before turning the gun on himself. Austin represents the Bixby Knolls area and was briefed by police

Dozens of police officers, including members of a SWAT team, surrounded the building and blocked off surrounding streets. Multiple ambulances arrived to the sceneDozens of police officers, including members of a SWAT team, surrounded the building and blocked off surrounding streets. Multiple ambulances arrived to the scene

Dozens of police officers, including members of a SWAT team, surrounded the building and blocked off surrounding streets. Multiple ambulances arrived to the scene

Police said there is no longer an active shooter in the building. None of the victims or anyone involved have been named yet Police said there is no longer an active shooter in the building. None of the victims or anyone involved have been named yet 

Police said there is no longer an active shooter in the building. None of the victims or anyone involved have been named yet

Joy Wilson told the Times she heard police sirens near her home and walked outside to see nearly two dozen people running 'like they were trying to get away.'

'They were definitely panicking,' she said. 'Something bad was happening, they were moving.'

Agnes, a 40-year-old who lives in the area said neighbors are shocked by the violence, describing it as a 'very safe area.'

'Everything was always fine,' she said. 'We have good neighbors. That is why I am in shock.'

Long Beach is about 20 miles south of downtown Los Angeles on the southern tip of LA county and has about 460,000 people.

For confidential support call the National Suicide Prevention Line on 1-800-273-8255

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