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State worker sent alarming notes before gun arrest

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POSTED January 26, 2015 7:33 p.m.

SACRAMENTO (AP) — A state employee arrested on suspicion of bringing a loaded gun to the California secretary of state’s office had been reprimanded for sending unsolicited messages to female co-workers, according to documents obtained Monday.

Bryan Keith Thurmond, 50, left a backpack containing a loaded handgun, extra magazines and three knives in the agency’s downtown Sacramento office last week, authorities say in records obtained by The Associated Press.

Security officers found the pack in the men’s bathroom on Jan. 19, a state holiday. It’s not clear whether it was hidden or in plain sight.

A police report filed by the California Highway Patrol said Thurmond was questioned the next day by officers about why he had the weapons, and without prompting he raised issues he had with at least three co-workers.

However, he said the gun was for going shooting with his brother after work, according to the report that goes on to say Thurmond’s brother was unaware of such plans.

Bryan Thurmond has not been charged and is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 11. He was released from Sacramento County jail on Thursday. It was unclear if he posted bail.

Secretary of State Alex Padilla has ordered a security review of the building, which does not have metal detectors and does not screen visitors. CHP has been providing additional security in the building’s lobby.

Thurmond told officers he had been in trouble at work for sending inappropriate messages to two co-workers, including a text message asking a woman to guess the identity of her secret admirer.

The police report was filed in conjunction with a request by the secretary of state’s office for restraining orders on behalf of the two women. The request was granted Friday by a Superior Court judge.

Thurmond started working as a temporary employee for the office in July 2013 and was fired on Friday, according to the agency.

A phone listing for him could not be immediately located. Emails sent to addresses associated with him and messages left at a phone number associated with his address and a prior employer were not returned.

Officials warned Thurmond about his behavior twice, according to the restraining order application.

In September, he was reprimanded for improper use of work email for asking a woman he had seen in the office to have coffee with him, saying he had promised a beer to a friend who gave him her name, the documents state.

In December, he asked a friend for another co-worker’s phone number and anonymously sent her messages, records state.

“It is alarming that you think it is okay to text someone with gestures of dating without getting prior approval from the individual,” an unidentified secretary of state employee wrote to Thurmond on Dec. 17, according to the documents.

 

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