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Postal Worker Makes First Court Appearance

July 12, 1995

WEST COVINA, Calif. (AP) _ Bail was set at $1 million Tuesday for a postal worker accused of shooting his supervisor to death.

Bruce William Clark, 58, was brought in shackles to Citrus Municipal Court for arraignment, but Judge Michael Duggan postponed the hearing until July 25 at the request of the defense.

Clark, who remained in custody, was charged Monday with first-degree murder in the shooting of 50-year-old James Whooper III at a mail processing center in Industry, a suburb east of Los Angeles.

Authorities say the confrontation began when Clark, a 22-year postal employee, punched Whooper in the back of the head. As Whooper went to report the incident to a superior, Clark left and returned with a paper bag.

When Whooper asked what was in the bag, Clark pulled out a .38-caliber revolver and shot Whooper twice, in the upper body and face, deputies said.

According to Omar Gonzalez, general president of the American Postal Workers union local, Whooper was known as a strict disciplinarian.

Co-workers of the men struggled to make sense of the incident Tuesday.

``We are just trying to figure out what happened,″ said Ron Dudeck, 52, who works in the engineering department. ``But I don’t know what you do to protect yourself from your own selves.″

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