Wounded attorney dies from workplace shooting injuries

Wounded attorney dies from workplace shooting injuries

Posted: Updated:
Mark Hummels Mark Hummels
Arthur Harmon Arthur Harmon
Nichole Hampton Nichole Hampton
PHOENIX -

A lawyer wounded by a gunman in a Phoenix office shooting this week has died, the second of three people hit by gunfire in the attack, the publicist for his law firm said Friday.

43-year-old Mark Hummels was shot in the neck and spine and on Thursday night, he was taken off life support.

Hummels leaves behind a wife and two young children.

Hummels was one of three people shot that day.  Steve Singer was also killed.  Nichole Hampton was shot in the wrist and thumb, but will survive.

Police say Arthur Harmon is the one who pulled the trigger.  He was involved in a legal dispute with Singer and Hummels.

Now we're learning new details about just how nasty that legal battle had become.

This was all about money.  Harmon claimed he wasn't being fully compensated for some work.  He didn't have an attorney to deal with directly with Hummels, who was representing the other victim.

Harmon was so upset that he threatened to file a complaint with the Arizona State Bar against Hummels. Hummels received the brunt of the shooter's anger.

Hummels was a stand-out attorney.  He received the highest score on the 2005 state bar exam.  On Friday, his law firm released a statement:

"Our friend, Mark Hummels, died last night.  He was declared brain dead and taken off life support.  Mark was an organ donor..our thoughts and prayers are with his family."

What led up to Wednesday's shooting is now becoming much clearer.  The state bar released a file full of correspondence between Hummels and the accused shooter, Arthur Harmon.

In those letters, Harmon accuses the attorney of harassing his family.

In one letter, Harmon threatened to expose Hummels for "what you are."  He wrote, "I do not want you, or anyone from your firm, to ever call my residence again and 'harass' my family."

This back and forth went on since last summer. 

In another letter, Hummels wrote, "I have not sent any 'harassing' or 'intimidating' emails, but have merely sought to communicate with you as necessary for the litigation of this case.  I thought our exchanges about the case had been relatively pleasant and cordial."

Hummels told the state Bar he was only trying to communicate with Harmon because Harmon didn't have an attorney, and that his office only called a few times.

"Because you are not represented by legal counsel, I will need to speak with you directly from time to time," Hummels wrote.

A lawyer with the state Bar even told Harmon in a letter that what Hummels was doing was not harassment, it was his job. Harmon was asked to stop sending letters to the Bar.

After all the back and forth, the group was set to meet Wednesday morning at the office complex to try to settle the case, but Harmon came prepared to kill.

Police now say inside Harmon's rented Kia Optima, they found two handguns and a vintage 1970s Colt AR-15 assault rifle.

The pistols were used in the shooting at the office complex while the rifle was fired at the witness who followed him.

Services for Hummels will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the Orpheum Theatre, 203 W. Adams.

Charitable donations can be made to the Mark Hummels Memorial Fund at the Arizona Community Foundation.

Donations for the welfare, education and care of Mark's and Dana's two children may be made to the Hummels Children's Fund at Alliance Bank of Arizona, 2901 N. Central Ave., Suite 100, Phoenix 85012.

Online: Mark Hummels' biography page
http://omlaw.com/attorneys/bio/mark-p-hummels

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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