Lawyer hurt in US office shooting dies

A SWAT team prepare to enter the home of a suspected gunman.

A lawyer wounded in a shooting at an Arizona office building has died.

Mark Hummels had been on life support at a Phoenix hospital after Wednesday morning's shooting that killed a Scottsdale-based company's chief executive.

Mr Hummels died last night, his law firm's publicist, Athia Hardt, said.

Police say the gunman - 70-year-old Arthur Harmon - was found dead early yesterday in Mesa from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

They say he shot the two men at the end of a mediation session in Phoenix over a lawsuit he filed last April.

Mr Hummels, 43, worked with the law firm Osborn Maledon and focused on business disputes, real estate litigation and malpractice defence.

A handgun was found near Harmon's body, and a rented car he drove from the shooting scene was found in a nearby car park.

Call centre chief executive Steve Singer, 48, died hours after the shooting.

A third person, mother-of-two Nichole Hampton, 32, was caught in the gunfire near the office building's entrance and was wounded on her left hand.

Ms Hampton works for another company inside the office complex and was not involved in the contract dispute. She said yesterday that she never saw Harmon or the two men who were shot.

"We believe the two men were the targets," Sergeant Tommy Thompson of Phoenix police said. "It was not a random shooting."

Harmon also fired at someone who tried to follow him to get his car registration number, authorities said.

Mr Singer was chief executive of Fusion Contact Centres, which had hired Harmon to refurbish office cubicles at two call centres in California.

According to court documents, Harmon was due to go to a law office in the building where the shooting took place for a settlement conference in a lawsuit he filed against Fusion in April.

Harmon represented himself in the lawsuit, and Mr Hummels represented Fusion.

Colleagues of Mr Hummels described him as a smart, competent and decent man who was a rising star in his profession and dedicated to his wife, nine-year-old daughter and seven-year-old son.

"This is a day of just unspeakable sorrow," said 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals judge Andrew Hurwitz, who hired Mr Hummels straight out of law school to serve as a law clerk from 2004 to 2005 while the judge was serving on the Arizona Supreme Court.

The shooting took place on the day that hearings on legislation to address gun violence were convened in Washington, with former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords calling for stricter gun controls.

A gunman shot Ms Giffords in the head during a shooting rampage in Tucson in January 2011.

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