Covington lawyer thankful to be alive after shooting - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Covington lawyer thankful to be alive after shooting

Upton Law Firm in Covington Upton Law Firm in Covington

Covington, La. -- A Covington attorney says he's thankful to be alive after a Slidell man showed up at his law firm and opened fire.

Timothy Upton isn't sure why he left his Covington law office Tuesday afternoon just before the shooting took place, saying, "I never go home for lunch, ever. And today I decided to do it, I don't know why."

But he's sure thankful he did.

Police say 47-year-old Roderick Rist went to the office looking for Upton when he opened fire, shattering the glass front door. They say Rist then went in and fired some more.

An office manager was the only one inside the building. Upton explains, "She hid in the copy room and as she saw him walking further back into the office she went back to the front where her desk was, hid under there and she heard several gunshots."

Investigators say Rist then took his own life. Police say he fired about 60 shots total. They found four different guns at the scene.

North Shore resident Dinah Christy was near the law firm at the time of the shooting. Christy recalls, "I thought maybe it was a lot of firecrackers like a kid had or something. That's why I couldn't believe this was happening."

Timothy Upton can't believe this happened, either. He says he represented Rist nine months ago in a civil case and didn't hear from him again until recently.

Upton says, "Three days ago we did receive a phone call, my office manager did receive a phone call from Mr. Rist, that he had some issues pending in New Orleans, apparently some criminal issues that he wanted help with. He sounded very disturbed and I anticipated calling him back but never had the opportunity."

The attorney says his heart goes out to Rist's family, whom he met several months ago, and he's thankful no one else was injured in the shooting.

Upton says his office manager is quite shaken after the shooting but she wasn't injured. And he still doesn't know why Rist may have wanted to harm him.

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