Alfred J. D'Angelo, Jr., a shareholder in the Labor and Employment Section of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney's Philadelphia office and a member of the firm's Executive Committee, was quoted in an August 11, 2010, article published by The Philadelphia Inquirer and picked up by other news outlets, including Behavioral Health Central's website, KansasCity.com, TampaBay.com and St. Petersburg Times. The article, titled "Law Review: Spotting a troubled employee before mass murder is almost impossible, law experts say," discussed the devastation that recently took place in Hartford, Connecticut, when an employee at a beer distributor shot 10 of his coworkers, killing eight, before taking his own life.

As reported in the article, "The killer, it was learned afterward, had been viewed by some of his acquaintances as a terrific guy. … And that underscores a central reality for employers and the labor and employment lawyers who advise them on how to handle workplace conflicts: Identifying the one-in-a-million person on the verge of committing mass murder is akin to finding a needle in a haystack."

D'Angelo weighed in on the situation saying "one tragic error made in the Connecticut case was that the employer permitted the dismissed employee to go unescorted to an adjacent room, where he retrieved two handguns concealed in a lunch box."

Even so, D'Angelo went on to say that he doubts employers can change much. "That's because horrific workplace killings, though they rivet national attention, are so unlikely that it wouldn't make sense for employers to dramatically reconfigure their workplaces," explained the article.

D'Angelo, who as noted in the article "counsels employers on how to deal with workers who are about to be disciplined or dismissed," said he has never been asked by a client about what to do if an employee shows up with a gun.

"The worst case of workplace violence he ever dealt with, and he has been at this for 35 years, involved a shop steward who threw a punch at his supervisor and was dismissed on the spot," noted the article. It went on to pose the question, "So does that mean society must simply accept a certain level of workplace carnage as the cost of doing business?"

No, according to D'Angelo, who went on explain that "employers need always to be alert for signs that an employee is troubled. Once an employee is about to be dismissed, the employee must remain under supervision until escorted off the grounds and should be observed cleaning out his or her desk."