Mayor Art Ward told me just now that his brother-in-law, who was a truck driver at Hartford Distributors, escaped with his life Tuesday.
When his co-worker Omar Thornton started shooting as Thornton was reportedly being escorted from the building early Tuesday, the mayor's brother-in-law was only about a telephone pole's length away, Ward said.
"He escaped yesterday by jumping out a window," said Ward, with four others. "He saw him coming and he got out of there."
Ward, who used to be a salesman for Alan S. Goodman -- a competitor of Hartford Distributors -- said he knew four of the men who died in the shooting.
He'd met them on the road, Ward said, while they were all working, and sometimes, they socialized together. A couple of them attended a stag party for Ward's son, he said, adding that the friendships "go back a long time."
Ward estimated that only about four or five people from Bristol work at the Manchester company.
The mayor said he hasn't had much of a chance to talk with his brother-in-law since the horror.
"We're just grateful that my brother-in-law is fine."
Unless I speak with the brother-in-law, I'm not using his name.