UPDATE: TBI releases identities of victims, gunman in Tennessee plant shooting
ATHENS, Tenn. — Three people are dead, including the shooter, after a man walked into a Tennessee factory Thursday afternoon and opened fire, police said.
The lone gunman, who was also an employee, entered the Thomas and Betts factory in Athens at about 4 p.m. and opened fire in the front office area, but didn’t hit anyone at first, according to WBIR.
The gunman, identified by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation as 45-year-old Ricky Swafford, then entered the main part of the facility where he continued shooting “deep inside the factory,” killing two other people, police said.
Officers found the suspect’s body inside a bathroom. It appeared that he shot and killed himself, according to Athens Police Chief Charles Ziegler. The gun he used appeared to be a small, pistol, Ziegler said.
The victims have been identified by the TBI as James Zotter, 44, and Sandra Cooley, 68. Both are from Athens, Tenn.
The scene was secured by 5:10 p.m.
Nearby McMinn County High School was placed on lockdown as a security measure but no threats were made toward the school.
Thomas and Betts manufactures connectors and components for the electrical and communications industries.