SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Two employees were killed and another was critically injured Friday morning at a warehouse in central Illinois, all apparently shot by a coworker who was found fatally shot in his car later in the day, police said.
Police Chief Kenny Winslow said the shooting happened shortly after 11 a.m. at the Bunn-O-Matic facility in Springfield. Winslow said the bodies of the two employees were found by police officers searching the building.
A female employee was found injured in the parking lot and was rushed to a hospital, he said.
The sheriff of nearby Morgan County called the chief’s office later in the day to say the suspect’s body had been found in his car, a victim of a gunshot wound, Winslow said.
Winslow identified the gunman as 48-year-old Michael L. Collins of Springfield.
Authorities have not released the names of the others who were shot, but Winslow said one of the men who died was in his 60s, one was in his 20s and the woman who was critically injured is in her 50s.
Winslow refused to discuss a possible motive but said Collins knew all of his victims. He said he could not say for sure if Collins took his own life and he didn’t know if the suspect had a criminal record.
One employee described a chaotic scene when the crack of of gunfire shattered an otherwise quiet workday. Charles Bantle estimated that about half of the warehouse employees weren’t working due to concerns about the coronavirus.
“I was in the maintenance shop and just heard the gunshots and everybody started running,” Bantle, told The (Springfield) State Journal-Register. “And I’m in maintenance, so I figured something’s broken. So I started walking towards it, figured it was the air compressor blowing up or something, and I was going to have to go fix it. But then everyone was screaming and yelling, telling me to go the other way. So we all ran and took cover.”
About 100 employees hurried from the company’s main building, and police gathered them together to determine if everyone had left the facility, the police chief said.
Bunn-O-Matic manufactures dispensed beverage equipment, and is headquartered in Springfield, according to the company’s website.
(© Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)