URL Source: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,582387,00.html
Published: Jan 7, 2010
Author: Fox News
Post Date: 2010-01-07 14:32:42 by WhiteSands
A longtime employee at a St. Louis power company is reportedly among three dead after he opened fire upon arriving to work Thursday morning. Timothy Hendron, 51, an active employee at ABB power plant in the north side of St. Louis, reportedly arrived at work at about 6:30 a.m. with a large assault rifle and handgun. Police say the incident began in the parking lot and soon moved into a nearby building.
Authorities will not confirm whether Hendron is among the dead until his body is positively identified, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Another five people were also injured in the attack.
Cpt. Sam Dotson told Fox News that authorities are continuing to search room by room at the plant for more victims. He said it is unclear what motive the suspect may have had.
Police have set up a two-mile perimeter around the area and closed Interstate 70 between Kingshighway and Goodfellow in both directions near the shooting scene. SWAT team members searched the area for hours, unsure if the gunman was still inside the building.
SLIDESHOW: Gunfire at St. Louis Power Factory
A fire department spokesman said three people are dead and eight were shot. Details of the shooting victims' condition were not immediately known.
A spokesman for the Swiss-based ABB told Fox News that the power company is working with authorities on both sides of the Atlantic.
"We are shocked about the event and our thoughts are currently with the families," Thomas Schmidt said.
The suspect's friend and neighbor, Ronald D. Bartram, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he could not believe that his friend would do such a thing and is worried that police are looking for the wrong man.
Bartram said that Hendron has worked for the company for a long time and that he spoke to Hendron just two days ago and nothing was bothering him. He told the paper that Hendron is a hunter and owns guns.
"I am very upset," Bartram told the paper. "He's a good friend of mine and I am really concerned. He is a good man."
Family members of employees at the power company have been calling in to Fox 2 to report that the shooter was a disgruntled worker.
The Post-Dispatch reported that Hendron was a plaintiff in a class-action federal lawsuit against ABB and its pension review committee over financial losses. A bench trial over the suit was held Tuesday and Wednesday in Kansas City and resumed this morning, according to the court clerk of U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey. The judge had set aside four weeks to hear all the evidence, the paper reported.
Several employees in the building ran to the building's rooftop to get away from the gunfire, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. The paper also reported that one worker had locked himself inside of a maintenance room in the building.
ABB Group makes power transmission and industrial automation equipment. The company manufactures transformers at the St. Louis site, according to its Web site. A spokesman says about 270 people work at the St. Louis plant.
ABB has operations in roughly 100 countries, employing about 120,000 people. Last October, ABB reported third-quarter earnings of more than $1 billion.