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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25361852

5 dead in plastics factory shooting rampage
Police say employee opened fire at Ky. plant after argument with boss

HENDERSON, Ky. - At least five people have died after an argument with a supervisor sparked a workplace shooting, police said on Wednesday.

NBC affiliate WFIE reported that a gunman opened fire at the Atlantis Plastics plant in Henderson, Ky., shortly after midnight. At least 8 people were taken to hospital.

Henderson police Lieutenant David Piller said the worker used a handgun he got from home during a break after arguing with his boss.

Police said shots were fired in multiple rooms at the building.

The gunman is believed to have later taken his own life.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.
 

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This is more than sad. Stories like this are the reason I used to be so against guns.
May their souls rest in peace.
 

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We'll find out the perp "had a long history of mental problems". Just my guess at this point.

These always effect me in two ways: I feel bad for the innocent victims and I cringe at what will follow.
 

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If corporations would spend time/money getting to know the folks they hire......but it's easier to blame the guns...glad he didn't run them down with a riding mower.........
 

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Most companies don't have metal detectors..they bump you and you can sue them for sexual harassment...so who's to know...long as you don't drop it in the men's room........
 

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That's the kind of stuff I'm worried about...they fired a guy a couple years ago just for bringing in a reciever, with no trigger, or bolt assemble for an old pump shot gun that he was working on off the clock.

We're not supposed to even bring in knifes with blades over 3" (although I break that rule every day with my Kbar ltd).

With todays economy in Michigan I just can't take the chance of loosing my job if I slip and the gun falls out of my pocket. Heck I had to get special permission to bring in a butt stock from a shotgun to straighten out on the belt sander. WTF, it's a HUNK of wood. The pipe wrenches in my tool box are more of a weapon.
 

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John it sounds like you work for douchebags. I'll shoot back at work.
 

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John, it's not about safety, it's about control...companies are positively anal about a lot of things..read the employee handbooks and see how careful they are about some things...then they'll use and abuse you and use you up if you let them....gone are the days where you started sweeping floors for Mr. McBucks' furniture factory, busted your butt, showed up on time every day, and you'd get promoted and taken care of if you got hurt or sick at work...and could count on your retirement being safe...now, some accountant who doesn't know which end of the broom makes a decision, they listen to him, and you're gone....loyalty to you doesn't exist.....if some jerk comes in the workplace and shoots you...your wife MIGHT get a card in the mail.....use the smarts you have and protect yourself....whatever it takes...cause this workplace shooting stuff's gonna rise as folks get fed up and can't take the pressure....don't keep their rules and let it rob you of your life...they don't own you...just rent you for X number of hours a week.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
One of the guys on TA posted an update...

NBC News and news services
updated 1 hour, 6 minutes ago

HENDERSON, Ky. - An employee shot and killed a supervisor and four others after an argument at a western Kentucky plastics plant in a rampage that ended in the gunman's suicide, police and a company official said Wednesday.

The shooting happened around midnight at Atlantis Plastics in this Ohio River town of about 28,000 people.

The employee, a press operator, began arguing with a supervisor and was escorted from the building, company CEO Bud Philbrook told The Associated Press.

As the employee was leaving, he took out a gun, shot the supervisor, then charged back into a break room and shot several employees. Then he returned to the floor and shot another employee before killing himself, Philbrook said.

'Total shock'
"It's just total shock. It's something you read about in the paper what happened at one of our facilities," Philbrook said.

It wasn't clear if the employee was carrying the gun, or if he retrieved it after the argument.

"We don't know if the gun was in the car or if he went somewhere to get it," Henderson police Lt. David Piller said.

At least one other person was injured, police said. The wounded victim was taken to St. Mary's Hospital and Medical Center in Evansville, Ind., spokeswoman Cheryl Dauble said. That person was undergoing treatment, she said, but declined to release further information.

The names of the shooter and the victims were not released.

However, Henderson County Coroner Bruce Farmer confirmed that the supervisor was among the dead. He said autopsies for all six were planned Wednesday.

"We're still in the process of contacting families and interviewing witnesses," Farmer said.

The Atlanta-based company has 1,300 employees worldwide, and about 150 in Henderson, where workers make parts for refrigerators and plastic siding for homes.

Town shaken
Henderson County Judge-Executive Sandy Watkins said the tragedy has shaken the entire town, partly because so many residents are either related to or know someone working at the plastics plant.

"Our whole community is in shock," Watkins said.

Hours after the shooting, police had set up a roadblock on the street leading to the plant, which is in an industrial area on the southern side of Henderson.

Other employees at the plant were sent home. About 34 were inside at the time of the shooting, Philbrook said.

In a news release on the company's Web site, Atlantis Plastics said it is a leading U.S. manufacturer of three kinds of products: polyethylene stretch films for wrapping pallets of materials, custom films for industrial and packaging uses, and molded plastic pieces used in products such as appliances and recreational vehicles.

The company has annual sales of $110 million, according to business directory Hoovers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/a ... /806260478


Man told girlfriend before Ky. shootings

By Jason Riley

HENDERSON, Ky. -- Angry that he had been reprimanded for talking on his cell phone and failing to wear safety goggles while on the job, Wesley Neal Higdon called his girlfriend from work Tuesday night and said he was going to kill his supervisor.

Two hours later, shortly after midnight, he carried out his threat -- fatally shooting his boss and four other workers in a barrage of gunfire at the Atlantis Plastics Inc. plant, then killing himself, Henderson police said.


The 25-year-old press-machine operator gunned down supervisor Kevin Taylor before going on a rampage, emptying his .45-caliber handgun and reloading as he shot four people in a break room and a fifth in the factory.

"He just walked in, and it looked like he meant business," said Henderson Police Sgt. John Nevels, who watched a surveillance video of the shooting. "He just started shooting at everybody."

Beth Casey, 26, a night-shift employee, said she took cover under a press when she heard the shots -- she said she heard nine or 10 -- then watched as Higdon shot himself just feet from her.

"I just froze," she said. "When it got quiet, I took off running."

All six of those slain, including Higdon, were shot in the head, police said.

The victims were Taylor, 30, of Dixon, who died at Methodist Hospital; Joshua Hinojosa, 28, of Sebree, who died at Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, Ind.; Trisha Mirelez, 24, of Sebree, who died at the scene; Rachael Vasquez, 26, of Sebree, who died at Methodist Hospital; and Israel Monroy, 29, of Henderson, who died at St. Mary's Hospital in Evansville. Higdon, of Henderson, died at the scene.

Police believe the only workers Higdon specifically targeted were Taylor and Hinojosa, Nevels said.

A seventh victim, Noelia Monroy, 22, of Henderson, was in stable condition at St. Mary's. The sister of Israel Monroy, she was shot in the chest, leg and arm in the break room.

Police said after Higdon was reprimanded Tuesday night, he got into an argument with Hinojosa during a break at a convenience store. Taylor then escorted Higdon from the plant a little after midnight.

Higdon retrieved a handgun he carried in his vehicle and shot Taylor in the head, leaving him to die in the parking lot, police said.

He then walked into the plant and headed for the break room, encountering eight of the 34 employees working the night shift. Nevels said Higdon unloaded on the group, sending workers scattering for cover.

Higdon then tracked down Hinojosa, killing him in the factory and shooting himself.

"I never dreamed the guy would have done anything like that," said Robert Torin, who worked with Higdon until a few weeks ago. Torin described Higdon as a friendly guy who sometimes had a temper.

Higdon had a minor criminal history, with misdemeanor convictions for marijuana possession and drunken driving. At the factory, where he had worked for about eight months, Higdon had a minor disciplinary violation in January for failing to report a broken towel rack, but plant manager Dean Jorgensen described him as a normal employee.

Police believe Higdon fought with his girlfriend, whom they did not name, before he went to work for his 6 p.m. shift Tuesday, and he might have thought he was going to be fired after getting in trouble at the factory.

The girlfriend, who did not call authorities after Higdon told her he was going to shoot his supervisor, could be charged at some point, police said.

Nevels said they are investigating whether she truly didn't believe he would follow through with his threat or was covering for him.

It is unclear when the factory will reopen, but Jorgensen said it would be soon. He said grief counselors were available for its 160 workers, who make parts for refrigerators and plastic siding for homes. Atlantis Plastics, based in Atlanta, has 1,300 employees worldwide.

"I hope none of you ever have to go through something like this," said Jorgensen, who broke down as he spoke at a news conference yesterday. "This is the worst day of my life."

Casey said she was told to be back at work tomorrow night.

"I'm not guaranteeing I'll be able to," she said.

Shock and fear rippled through Henderson, a town of nearly 28,000 people in Western Kentucky.

"This will run deep in our community because we are that close-knit," Mayor Tom Davis said.

Henderson County Judge-Executive Sandy Lee Watkins said the tragedy has shaken the town, partly because so many residents are related to or know people who work at the plant.

"Henderson is a very strong community, a very faith-based area and we're going to say some prayers today," Watkins said.

He said he knew Taylor -- marrying Taylor and his wife about a year ago -- and Higdon's family.

"Getting back to normal is going to be very, very difficult," he said.

At a vigil last night in front of the county courthouse, about 150 people sang, held each other and prayed for the families of the victims and the shooter, punctuating each prayer with a loud "amen."

Of her small town, 69-year-old Ruth Allison said: "It's not Mayberry anymore."
 

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I have had to terminate several employees over the years for poor job performance and as a manager and you always face it with mixed emotions. If it gets to the point of termination then you are at a point when you just want them gone but you also feel guilty like you have failed them inspite of numerous coachings, councilings and feedback sessions. I was in on one that worked for another manager and I was the second member of management in the room. He had a history of violent outbursts including putting his fist through walls and was generally emotionally unstable. I ignored the handbook and carried either on my person or in my briefcase during and for several week after the terrmination. If I was alive I could always get another job over time, dead is forever.

I was also in on a plant closing announcment and outplacement for over 100 employees. That was undoubtly the worst working day of my career. We had armed (concealed carry) bodyguards at the facility during the process. In this and the previous example nothing happened.
 

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Terry_P...I'm with you 100%....we had strict rules against carrying in the jail....I ALWAYS carried in the jail....38 in my boot and .45 in a shoulder holster or under my belt in summer....same in the courtroom....in the Fed. building....wherever....I'd give up my city issued holster gun and wear the others....too many prisoners were found armed in the jail because of not being searched or sloppily searched by officers who didn't want to get their hands sweaty...too many fat old bailiffs who couldn't fight enough to retain their gun....you can always get another job...if you're alive and healthy...you can't trust anyone to protect you except you!!!
 
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