Chrysler factory employee kills co-worker, self
DETROIT (AP) — A Chrysler factory employee fatally stabbed his co-worker in view of their colleagues in the plant's loading dock area, officials with the automaker and the Detroit police said Thursday.
The suspect then fled the Jefferson North plant and shot himself to death at a nearby city park, Inspector Dwane Blackmon told a news conference.
Police arrived at the east-side plant to find the victim dead and the suspect gone, Blackmon said. According to Chrysler, the stabbing took place about 7:50 a.m.
No motive for the killing at the plant has been established, said Blackmon, who added that witnesses described the men as having an ongoing dispute. The men exchanged words during what Blackmon described as "face-to-face encounter" before the suspect killed the victim with a knife that since has been recovered by police.
Police tracked the suspect to Belle Isle, an island park in the middle of the Detroit River. He shot himself in a sport utility vehicle that was parked on a roadway that backed up to a wooded area not far from a playground, athletic fields and a zoo building.
Chrysler Senior Vice President Scott Garberding said no weapons are allowed inside the plant, which does not have metal detectors.
"At no time were there other individuals in danger," Blackmon said. Police believe the suspect had a specific dispute with the victim and didn't intend to do harm to others at the plant.
Blackmon said authorities would not release the identities of the suspect and the victim until relatives were notified.
The Jefferson North plant employs about 3,100 workers on two shifts.
No other employees were injured, and workers on the first shift were sent home around 10 a.m. The plant's second shift was canceled, and grief counselors were being brought in, Garberding said.
"Chrysler Group is deeply saddened by the events that happened this morning at Jefferson North," said Garberding, who runs the automaker's North American assembly operations. "The safety of our employees is always our first priority. ... We are going to learn everything we can from this incident."
The plant makes the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango full-size SUVs.
AP Auto Writer Tom Krisher and Associated Press writers Mike Householder, Ed White and David Aguilar contributed to this report.