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Family: Sixth victim of Minneapolis workplace shooting dies

The sixth victim of a workplace shooting rampage at a Minneapolis sign company in late September has died, police and the family said Thursday.

Eric Rivers, 42, a production manager at Accent Signage Systems “passed away peacefully last night,” his family said in a statement released by the Hennepin County Medical Center, NBC station KARE of Minneapolis reported.

Rivers’ family made the decision to take him off of life support Wednesday night after he had been in critical condition since the Sept. 27 shooting.

On a personal webpage, Rivers’ wife wrote Wednesday that “it’s painfully evident that the damage to his brain is severe and something that no one can recover from.”

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Bloomington, Minn., police

Booking photo of Andrew Engeldinger in 1997.

The death brings the total number of those killed in last month’s shooting to seven, including the suspected gunman, identified as Andrew J. Engeldinger, 36, an employee who had just lost his job.

No victims remain in the hospital. In all, Engeldinger shot seven people, including the company’s founder.

In the statement, Rivers’ family said, “We are grateful for the incredible courage displayed by the men and women who responded to the emergency and the wonderful medical team at Hennepin County Medical Center, who have been caring for Eric. At this time, the family asks for privacy as they deal with this tragedy. We thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers.”

The day of the shooting, Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan said Engeldinger was brought into the front office at the end of the work day to be terminated, and then he took out a 9mm Glock semiautomatic pistol and began shooting other employees. Engeldinger then walked to the loading dock, killing others. He was later found dead in the basement of Accent Signage Systems.

Amy Forliti / AP

Police investigate a shooting at Accent Signage Systems on the north side of Minneapolis Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012.

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Following the incident, Engeldinger's parents released a statement saying that Andrew struggled with mental illness for years and had lost contact with the family. "This is not an excuse for his actions, but sadly, may be a partial explanation," said the statement read by Carolyn and Chuck Engeldinger. They also expressed condolences to the families of those killed and wounded.

Minneapolis police said they plan to release 911 audio from the shooting in the coming weeks. 

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