Tennessee man kills two supervisors, himself after work meeting

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 23, 2016 12:51 PM

CHICAGO (Reuters) - A man who killed his two supervisors at a manufacturing plant in eastern Tennessee before taking his own life did so after becoming upset during a meeting, authorities investigating the crime said on Friday.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) said that Ricky Swafford, 45, killed two of his supervisors, James Zotter,44, and Sandra Cooley,68, at the Thomas & Betts Corp [TBCI.UL] in Athens, Tennessee on Thursday.

TBI said in a statement that Swafford, who the bureau described as "a long-time employee of the plant," had a meeting with Zotter and Cooley during which he became upset.

Swafford abruptly left the meeting, and the building, before returning to the plant to find the two supervisors.

"Swafford shot both of them and continued to walk through the plant," TBI said in the statement.

"Some employees were able to warn others of an active shooter, and employees evacuated the building. When responding officers arrived, they found Swafford's body in a bathroom of the plant, deceased from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound."

No other employees were injured in the incident, the statement said.

Leslie Earhart, a spokeswoman for TBI, said that there was no further information on the shooting. The investigation is ongoing.

The TBI said that both victims were from Athens, Tennessee, located about 50 miles (80 km) southwest of Knoxville, near the state's borders with Georgia and North Carolina.

Thomas & Betts Corp, a unit of Swiss conglomerate ABB Ltd., which manufactures electrical and electronic components, said in a statement that is was "deeply saddened" by the shooting.

(Reporting by Timothy Mclaughlin; Editing by Alan Crosby)