An interest in day trading put 22 at risk of death

Grieving families stunned at randomness of killings

July 31, 1999|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

ATLANTA -- There were 22 of them, 22 people with disparate lives and interests, lives filled with children and lovers, with keeping store and fly-fishing, with building that dream house and chasing the American dream. But on Thursday afternoon, in a quiet office park here, they were 22 people with a single common interest, electronic day trading.

On any given day, a fortune could be lost or won with the punch of a computer button. On this particular hot Thursday, Dean Delawalla was one of nine day traders and trading house employees who lost their lives when Mark O. Barton went on his pistol-firing rampage in two trading offices. Thirteen other people were wounded, nine seriously.

Delawalla, 52, made his living day trading, showing up almost every morning at the office park. But family and friends say day trading was just his job, not his life. His life, as they tell it, was his wife, Gulshan, a medical intern, and their two children, Saisal, 15, and Shahla, 4.

"They were everything he lived for," said his brother, Seroz Delawalla. "He spent almost all of his time with them when he wasn't trading. In fact, he just traded to have money to take care of them and make a nice home here in America. That was his dream from the day he arrived in Atlanta."

Delawalla, a native of Pakistan, came to the United States in 1973. He had been trained as a lawyer and a banker but once in America headed off in new career directions, first in the medical supply business.

For Edward Quinn of Norcross, an Atlanta suburb, trading was just a retirement pastime. He had already made his financial mark, as an executive with the United Parcel Service.

So he did not show up at the office complex every day, frequently preferring to play a round of golf or try his hand at fly-fishing in a local stream. But he did show up on Thursday, and doing so cost him his life.

A Norcross neighbor, Eve Hoffman, described him as "a quiet man, absolutely a devoted family man," who, already retired at the age of 58, had an unquenchable passion for life.

Quinn left a wife of 31 years, Mary, and three grown children. Three weeks ago he became a grandfather for the first time.

Allen Tenenbaum usually visited in the morning at the office where he traded. But on Thursday he went in the afternoon, and, as with Quinn, the timing of the visit proved fatal.

"He just happened to be there," said his brother-in-law, Freddy Allen of Greensboro, N.C. "It was a little unusual for him."

Tenenbaum, 48, owned a grocery store in Atlanta, Great Savings, and was an avid golfer and a devoted jogger, putting in at least four miles every day. He also served as president of his synagogue.

Tenenbaum left a wife of 18 years, Debra, and three children: Megan, 11; Brittany, 13, and Scott, 3.

The Tenenbaum and Allen families were to meet tomorrow in Myrtle Beach, S.C., for a vacation. Instead, they gathered in Atlanta yesterday for a funeral.

Knowing that Vadewattee Muralidhara was down at the trading office, her family frantically began trying to reach her on learning of the shooting. But the Muralidharas had no success.

"We were calling everywhere," said her 18-year-old son, Rishi. "She hadn't come home. She took care of us, took most of her time with us."

Then there was a knock on the door. It was a police officer.

"We thought she would be one of the witnesses," the son said.

But the officer was bringing word of her death. She was 44 and lived with her family in Peachtree City, another Atlanta suburb.

Among the others killed were Russell J. Brown, 42, of the nearby town of Cumming; Kevin Dial, 38, of Atlanta, and Scott A. Webb, 30, also of Atlanta. No biographical details about them were available.

Neither did the police release the names of the two additional people slain, pending notification of relatives.

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