3 dead in shooting at Tennessee injection molding plant
A worker at an injection molding facility in Athens, Tenn. killed two co-workers before taking his own life.
The incident occurred on Sept. 22 at a Thomas & Betts plant that injection molds electrical, mechanical, and utility products. The shooter, Rick Swafford, 45, became upset during a meeting with two supervisors, local police said. He left the meeting, left the building, and returned with a semi-automatic pistol. They identified the victims as James Zotter, 44, and Sandra Cooley, 68, both of Athens. Cooley had been with the company for 45 years.
Swafford was a long-time employee of Thomas & Betts. He had a permit to carry a concealed weapon, police said.
Thomas & Betts is a unit of Swiss industrial conglomerate ABB, a global company that makes products used to connect and transmit electricity. ABB acquired Thomas & Betts in a US$3.9 billion buyout in 2012.
“Our loss is profound,” ABB said in a statement. “The ABB family is shocked and saddened by the tragedy at our Thomas & Betts facility in Athens, Tenn., on Thursday afternoon. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ families during this difficult time. We will have grief counselors available to all of our employees at the facility. ABB is working closely with the authorities to cooperate and assist on their investigation.”