SALT LAKE CITY (AP) _ Sergei Babarin, a 71-year-old Russian immigrant suffering from schizophrenia, had run-ins with neighbors and packed a pistol during a fight at a department store four years ago, but police are baffled about why he would choose the Mormon Family History Library for a deadly rampage.
Babarin killed a church security guard and a female library patron from California and wounded four others Thursday before dying in a hail of police officers' bullets.
Neighbors said Babarin, who had lived in the United States 20 years, was often frustrated by his broken English.
"He is apparently schizophrenic and hasn't been taking his medication," Mayor Deedee Corradini told a news conference.
"He didn't say anything. He just came in and started shooting people," said Margaret Kane, who was at the world's largest genealogical library with her husband at 10:30 a.m. when the man opened fire at people in the lobby.
"He just looked intent on what he was doing. He came to do what he was doing," said Kane, who huddled under a desk in the first floor research area as the man roamed the lobby and adjacent classrooms, seemingly firing at random.
"I did not hear him say anything. He didn't call out, no names or anything. He just kept his hand held out pointing at people," said Kane, from Olympia, Wash. The gunman reloaded and continued firing, she said.
Police Chief Ruben Ortega said the first officers arrived two minutes after a 10:32 a.m. emergency call and soon were involved in a gun battle with Babarin. He barricaded himself in an office and again exchanged gunfire with officers.
"That's when he was mortally wounded," Ortega said.
Police Lt. Mark Zelig said the man was not known to have had any animosity toward the church _ that he had only been known to comment that it was strange that Mormons had basketball courts in their chapels.
He said the man had a reputation for harassing people in his apartment building and people who simply were in front of his window.
He said that in May 1998, a bicyclist told police that Babarin stuck an umbrella in the bicycle spokes as he rode by and accused him of being a spy. No charges were brought because the bicyclist did not want to pursue the case. Zelig said the man thought his own son was a CIA spy.
Neighbors and Zelig said the man would say things like "Heil Hitler" and "Hitler was right."
Ortega said Babarin was arrested and charged with assault and carrying a concealed weapon after a 1995 fight at the ZCMI department store in downtown Salt Lake. Zelig said Babarin had confronted a 73-year-old man in a restroom, yelled something unintelligible and tried to bite the man.
Babarin was carrying a .22-caliber Ruger then. He pleaded guilty to carrying a concealed dangerous weapon, was placed on probation and was supposed to have turned the gun in. However, it was not known whether he did or whether it was the same gun he used Thursday.
Police said the gunman apparently had no connection to a yellow moving truck parked three blocks from the library and found to contain two 55-gallon drums of gasoline.
The truck owner, who had been at the library earlier Thursday and argued with an employee, was questioned at length, said Ortega, but was not believed involved in the shootings.
At one point police blew a hole in the side of the truck to inspect the interior.
Babarin's wife of 50 years, Zoya, told investigators he had not been taking his medication for schizophrenia and each day would walk a dozen-odd blocks from their home to the State Capitol and to Temple Square, Ortega said. Zelig said the man stopped taking his medication in December.
Kane said she was "scared to death" when Babarin was firing his .22-caliber automatic, emptying one clip and part of another. "We all read about these people who go around shooting. There's nothing you can do. You just try to make yourself as small as possible."
Lyman Platt, a genealogist, said the gunman entered the library and quickly fired off a dozen rounds.
"He came in the lobby and shot a lady in the head and two or three other men," Platt said.
Said Jacqueline Nelson, a researcher who was working on the first floor: "We heard a pop and somebody said `Everybody get down.' There were 10 or 12 pops and somebody yelled `Somebody's shooting!"
Shots were fired as much as 45 minutes after officers arrived on the scene, at first leading police to believe there might be a second gunman.
Seventeen people on the second floor locked themselves inside when the shooting began _ Kane was one of them _ and were evacuated unharmed early in the afternoon as SWAT teams combed the building.
Babarin was taken out of the building to an ambulance about 90 minutes after the first shots were fired. He died en route to the hospital.
Paramedics at first erroneously believed he might be wired with an explosive and the area was evacuated.
The four wounded included SWAT team officer Brad Davis, who was treated at the scene for a grazing hand wound described by police as "very, very minor."
The church security guard, who was armed, was identified as Donald Thomas, 62, West Jordan. He was shot in the chest as he apparently confronted Babarin. Thomas had worked for the church for 28 years and was due to retire in June.
The second fatal victim was Patricia Irene Frengs, 55, Pleasant Hill, Calif. She was in town with her husband, Jack, who was not believed to have been with her at the time of the shooting, Zelig said.
The wounded include two Laketown women, Theda Weston, 71, and her daughter, Chris Webb, 45.
Weston was shot near the left eye. The bullet circled around the side of her face and lodged in the back of her head, said University Hospital spokesman John Dwan. She was in serious condition.
Webb, 45, was shot in the shoulder and the bullet lodged in her lung. She was in fair condition at Salt Lake Regional Medical Center.
Nellie Leighton, 80, who had been serving a temple mission since March 1998 and originally was from Oakland, Calif., underwent surgery at the same hospital for a gunshot wound to the cheek and was in fair condition.
Police earlier reported a 24-year-old woman has having been wounded, but she only had gone into false labor. She was taken to a hospital and released.
The library, the largest genealogical library in the world, is directly across the street from Temple Square, site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Salt Lake Temple and Tabernacle. It has more than 2 million rolls of microfilm copies of census and other records from more than 100 countries.
An international genealogical convention had attracted heavy traffic to the library, which has two floors below ground level and three above. Some 250 people _ patrons and employees _ are in the building on a typical day.
Two groups of school children _ 89 from Vista Elementary in the Granite School District and 95 from Heartland Elementary in the Jordan School District _ were just about to visit the library when the shooting occurred. They were kept next door in the basement of the Museum of Church History and Art. Both school districts sent counselors.
Granite spokeswoman Michele Bartmess said Vista students looked out a window and were upset when they saw victims being loaded into ambulances.
The church's governing First Presidency issued a statement saying, "We very much regret these tragic circumstances.... Our hearts reach out to the innocent victims of this terrible tragedy and to their families."
The church has been involved in genealogy since its founding nearly 170 years ago. The church amasses the records for what it calls the baptism of the dead. Mormons believe that such baptisms give the dead the opportunity to join the Mormon church in the afterlife.
The church said the library would not reopen until Monday.