March 11, 2009 — -- The gunman who turned a rural stretch of Alabama into a slaughterhouse was a "quiet " guy who was briefly a member of a small town police department.
Michael McLendon, 27, of Kinston, Ala., was described by former high school classmates and others who knew him as a former A student who "never had very much to say."
The only clueto a motive that McLendon left behind was a list of people he had once worked with and had either disciplined him or had reported him to supervisors for work related infractions.
The list included a sausage factory where McLendon worked until last week and a metals factory that he left back in 2003. McLendon killed himself at the factory.
Coffee County Assistant District Attorney Tom Anderson told ABCNews.com that no one on the list was among the dead. Nevertheless, investigators were trying to determine whether it was a hit list that McLendon had composed.
Until last week, McLendon was working at Kelley Foods, a sausage manufacturer and food distributor in nearby Elba., Ala. He abruptly quit last Wednesday.
"Michael was employed from July 27, 2007, until he voluntary quit on Wednesday of last week," said Erik Ennis, a spokesman for Kelley Foods Inc.
Ennis declined to say whether McLendon had given a reason for leaving his job.
According to Ennis, McLendon had worked in the store's manufacturing division and was a "reliable team member."
"Michael by nature was a quiet person that never had very much to say. He just did his job," said Ennis.
"He was liked by his co-workers and worked well with others," he added.
At a news conference in Geneva, Ala., today Alabama Bureau of Investigation Chief Jerry Connor said that McLendon was briefly a Samson police officer, but failed to complete the training at the state police academy and left the job.
Cecil Knowles, who lives in Samson, Ala., said he graduated from Samson High School in 1999 beside McLendon, and also knew him to be reserved.
"He was always very quiet," said Knowles, who said that with only 36 students in the graduating senior class everyone was "close like a family."
"He was an A student and had no problems. He never got into any trouble," said Knowles. "He stuck to himself a lot of the time."
Knowles said that after graduation he "never heard from McLendon again" except from seeing him occasionally around town.
"I never would have expected [McLendon] to do anything like this," said Knowles. "I'm shocked."
Still Not Clear What Set Off Alabama Shooter
A receptionist at Samson High School said she was being inundated by media requests and declined to answer questions about McLendon.
Neighbors told ABCNews.com that McLendon had also worked at the Reliable Metal Products Factory in Geneva, Ala., the same location where he ended his shooting spree – several years ago.
Investigators who have been following the 24-mile trail of death led by McLendon are still unsure as to what set the shooter off.
"He cleaned his family out," Coffee County coroner Robert Preachers said. "We don't know what triggered it."
Alabama state trooper John Reese told "Good Morning America" this morning, "We are still unclear of what caused the incident."