ALBERTVILLE, Ala. – A shooting occurred at the Mueller Company plant in Albertville early Tuesday morning.
Albertville Police Chief Jamie Smith confirmed Andreas Deon Horton, 34, a Mueller Company employee for nearly 10 years and a DeKalb County resident, began shooting at fellow employees around 2:30 a.m., killing two and injuring two others.
Michael Lee Dobbins and David Lee Horton, both from Boaz, were killed in the shooting.
News 19’s Tiffany Lester spoke with Dobbins’ grandmother, Ann Walters, who cried and said the entire family is devastated and shocked at the loss of her grandson.
“I helped raise him, kept him from time to time since he was born,” Walters said.
She said Dobbins was respectful and always willing to help anyone in need.
The injured, Casey Sampson and Isaac Byrd both from Albertville, were taken to Marshall Medical Center South, then later transferred to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Officers began searching for the maroon Jeep Andreas was driving right after the shooting and found the Jeep, along with Andreas, shortly before 6 a.m. on Carlisle Avenue in Guntersville.
Police said Andreas was found dead from what they believe to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Smith said police were still investigating and working to determine a motive for the shooting.
Despite sharing a last name, Smith stated Andreas and David are not related.
Around 100 people were in the plant when the shooting occurred and they were spread all throughout the plant; the shooting occurred during a regular shift.
Chief Smith expects the facility will be closed for a few days.
News 19 crews on scene early Tuesday morning saw Albertville and Boaz Police, along with the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office, at the plant on Industrial Blvd.
Several other agencies assisted in the investigation:
- Alabama Law Enforcement Agency
- Albertville Fire and Rescue
- Arab Police
- Attala Police
- Boaz Fire and Rescue
- DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office
- Douglas Police
- Etowah County Sheriff’s Office
- Marshall County District Attorney’s Office
- Marshall County Coroner’s Office
- Marshall County Drug Task Force
- Marshall Health System EMS
- North Alabama Criminal Organized Task Force
- Sardis Police
- Tennessee Valley Regional Computer Forensics Lab
The FBI will be supporting the investigation and the plant will be closed for a couple of days.
Smith added there had been no previous history of violent incidents at the plant.
Albertville Mayor Tracy Honea expressed his condolences in a statement sent just after 11 a.m.
“Our hearts are breaking today after the senseless tragedy that has taken place at Mueller Company in Albertville. Mueller had been an integral part of the lifeblood and workforce of this city for just shy of 50 years. Thanks to them, Albertville is not only the “Heart of Sand Mountain,” but is also proudly known as the “Fire Hydrant Capital of the World.” They are dedicated, important partners of this community and we hurt with them today. On behalf of myself, our administration and staff of the City of Albertville— I send our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims, well wishes to those injured, and our thoughts and prayers to the entire Mueller team, both here in Albertville, across the United States, and abroad. I’d also like to thank our Police Chief, Jamie Smith, the Albertville Police Department, and all assisting agencies for their help today, and for the outstanding work they do day in and day out. They are all too often unsung heroes and we ask that you remember them during this time, as well.”Albertville Mayor Tracy Honea
Mueller, headquartered in Chattanooga, has 11 plants across the U.S. and Canada including the one in Albertville, which employs just under 500 people.
The company echoed Mayor Honea’s statement.
“Mueller Water Products is shocked and deeply saddened by the horrific tragedy that occurred early this morning at our Albertville, Alabama facility. Our hearts are with the victims and their loved ones, the Albertville community and the entire Mueller family during this extremely difficult time. Our entire focus is on the health and wellbeing of our colleagues, and we are committed to providing any and all support to them and their families. We continue to work closely with law enforcement, with whom we share our deepest gratitude for their support. We will provide updates as we learn more.Mueller Company
The City of Albertville says it’s one of the area’s largest employers and has been in operation for more than 45 years.
Millions of fire hydrants have been manufactured at the plant, leading to the city becoming known as the “Fire Hydrant Capital” of the world.