Tags: tennessee | factory | shooting | bosses | gunman | dead

Tennessee Factory Shooting Leaves 2 Bosses, Gunman Dead

Image: Tennessee Factory Shooting Leaves 2 Bosses, Gunman Dead

Police cars outside factory in Athens, Tennessee. (McMinn County Sheriff Joe Guy)

By    |   Friday, 23 Sep 2016 06:53 AM

A Tennessee factory shooting on Thursday left three dead, including the gunman who authorities believe shot two of his bosses before turning the gun on himself.

The shooting occurred at the Thomas & Betts Corp. factory in Athens, Tennessee around 4:15 p.m., reported the Knoxville News Sentinel. Authorities identified the victims as supervisors James A. Zotter, 44, and Sandra H. Cooley, 68.

Athens police told the News Sentinel that Ricky Swafford, 45, became angry at a meeting earlier in the day and left, but returned with a weapon. The bodies were all found inside the plant after authorities were called to the scene.

According to WVLT-TV, police said Swafford apparently used a semi-automatic handgun to shoot the two victims and then himself.

"Up until now, all we've been able to do is identify all of the people who were witnesses, who saw or heard or were involved in the situation," Athens Police Chief Chuck Ziegler told the News Sentinel. "We have investigators from all the different (agencies) interviewing them at this time."

McMinn County High School, located across from the factory, was put on lockdown shortly after the incident, but authorities quickly declared the school clear, according to The Daily Post-Athenian.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said no other employees were involved in the shooting and that its violent crimes response team started collecting evidence from the plant late Thursday, according to WBIR-TV.

Thomas & Betts Corp., headquartered in suburban Memphis, designs and makes electrical components used in industrial, commercial, lighting and utility markets, said the News Sentinel.

Thomas & Betts's parent company, Swiss industrial conglomerate ABB, sent a team to help with counseling or other services for the factory employees, according to WBIR-TV.

"Our loss is profound. The ABB family is shocked and saddened by the tragedy at our Thomas & Betts facility in Athens, Tennessee on Thursday afternoon," said the parent company.

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A Tennessee factory shooting on Thursday left three dead, including the gunman who authorities believe shot two of his bosses before turning the gun on himself.
tennessee, factory, shooting, bosses, gunman, dead
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2016-53-23
Friday, 23 Sep 2016 06:53 AM
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