They always say be careful how you talk to people in the workplace, but most don’t give that advice thinking tragedy could strike at any time. For two men who worked at a Ford dealership, that is exactly what happened.
A GoFundMe has been started for the families of Brian Light, 59, and Xavier Souto, 38, after a man who was just fired shot them both on Tuesday, June 25th.
Who Are the Victims?
Brian Light was only 59, and he was the parts and service manager at a Ford Dealership near San Jose, California. He had worked at the dealership since 2018, and was reportedly well-liked by most of his colleges – he had been recruited from the Sunnyvale Ford location, and was known to be easy with a smile and good to work with.
Xavier Souto, just 38-years-old, had worked at the store since 2011. In late 2018, less than a year before his death, he had received a promotion as Parts Manager for Ford. Souto was also the main ‘bread-winner’ for his family, as he had a wife and two children he left behind.
The Ford location in question is “The Ford Store Morgan Hill”, located in Morgan Hill, California. It is just south of San Jose, and about an hour south of San Francisco.
What Happened That Day?
Stephen Leet, 60, has been charged with the murder of the two men at the store and had worked at that location for 8 years leading up to 4:15 pm on Tuesday. He was pulled into the office where Leet was let go.
All reports about the man say he was quiet, kept to himself, but mostly got along with those he worked with. Friends said he was a ‘quiet loner’. He had no past history of violence, though he did own 12 guns.
Witnesses say Leet sat in his car for over an hour after being let go, but employees of the store were not initially concerned about his actions. Puzzled, yes, but not worried.
Leet returned to the store just after 6 pm with a gun he apparently kept in his car at all times and shot Souto point blank. Brian Light jumped into action, and in a move that police are calling “nothing short of heroic”, tackled Leet for the gun.
Light lost his life, getting shot twice in the struggle, but gave customers and employees enough of a head start that they were able to flee. Leet then shot himself, and when police responded to emergency calls they found him on the curb bleeding out. He did not survive.
Funds Go to the Family
The fund is set up for both families to help with the memorial expenses and day to day expenses that will be a struggle after losing an income.
The GoFundMe page has been active since June 26th and has raised over $120,000 of its $250,000 goal. Over 750 people have donated to the families of these victims. Comments on the page share family memories and customer stories of the men.