Three killed in St Louis factory shooting

An employee armed with an assault rifle and a handgun walked into a manufacturing plant this morning and opened fire, killing at least three people and wounding five others, US authorities said.

Several hours later, police were still inside Swiss-based ABB Group's plant, going room to room in a search for both the gunman and additional victims, police Captain Sam Dotson said. Authorities had not confirmed whether the gunman was among the eight.

Fire Department spokesman Bob Keuss identified the suspected killer as Timothy Hendron of Webster Groves, a St Louis suburb. Dotson said Hendron is an employee of the plant.

The shooting occurred as a federal lawsuit Hendron and other ABB workers filed against the company in 2006 over their retirement plan was unfolding in a federal courtroom in Kansas City, Missouri. Online court documents show that a bench trial began on Tuesday and was expected to last at least three weeks.

The lawsuit seeks to recover financial losses by the workers' retirement plan, claiming that ABB and its pension-review committee caused the plan to include investment options with "unreasonable and excessive" fees and expenses.

Gunfire broke out around 6.30am during a shift change, and 40 to 50 people were likely in the factory at the time, Dotson said. As shots began to ring out, employees scurried to find safety.

"Many of them sought safety on the roof, in boilers and broom closets," Dotson said.

Names of the victims were not immediately released. Police said three of the injured were in critical condition and two were in fair condition.

Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson said firefighters and paramedics were standing by in case there were additional injuries, either from the shooting itself or from seeking refuge on the roof in bitter cold. The wind chill in St Louis dipped below zero.

"It's cold, and shock sets in, hypothermia," Jenkerson said. "It doesn't sound good."

Dozens of emergency vehicles circled the sprawling plant on a day made more chaotic by several inches of snow that snarled traffic in the St Louis region.

ABB Group makes power transmission and industrial automation equipment. The company manufactures transformers at the St Louis site, which employs about 270 people. The company has operations in roughly 100 countries, employing about 120,000 people. Last October, ABB reported third-quarter earnings of more than 1 billion US dollars.

Thomas Schmidt, an ABB corporate spokesman in Zurich, Switzerland, said in a statement today the company had received reports of the shooting.

"This is obviously a very serious situation and we are working to gather more information as it becomes available," the statement said. "The welfare of our employees is of utmost importance to us."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
i100
Sport
Jonny Evans and Papiss Cisse come together
football
News
Life-changing: Simone de Beauvoir in 1947, two years before she wrote 'The Second Sex', credited as the starting point of second wave feminism
peopleHer seminal feminist polemic, The Second Sex, has been published in short-form to mark International Women's Day
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The beat is on: Alfred Doda, Gjevat Kelmendi and Orli Shuka in ‘Hyena’
filmReview: Hyena takes corruption and sleaziness to a truly epic level
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform Engineer - VMware / SAN / Tier3 DC

£45000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform En...

Recruitment Genius: Purchasing Assistant

£10000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Ledger Assistant

£17000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

Ashdown Group: Automated Tester / Test Analyst - .Net / SQL - Cheshire

£32000 per annum + pension, healthcare & 23 days holiday: Ashdown Group: A gro...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis