KS: Workplace shooting at another ''No-guns allowed'' business

Not only is concealed carrry illegal in Kansas, but this business had "No-Guns" signs posted on its doors, just as it does on its facilities here in Ohio. More multiple-victom public shootings occur where guns are prohibited.

July 2, 2004

Five People Killed in Shooting at Plant

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) -- A gunman killed four employees of a meatpacking plant and wounded three others Friday afternoon, and was later found among the dead, police said.

Deputy police chief Col. Sam Breshears, who had earlier corrected initial reports from police that placed the number of dead as high as seven, raised the total to five shortly after 8 p.m.

Police released little information about the dead Friday night. Breshears said they included two 45-year-old males, a 21-year-old male, and two males who remained unidentified.

Breshears, who had refused to initially speculate on a motive, said initial statements from witnesses indicated the shooter was a disgruntled employee.

"We're putting this thing together," Breshears said. "It is a slow, meticulous process."

Police in Kansas City, Kan., received a call reporting the shooting 5:19 p.m. A police dispatcher said an employee of the ConAgra Foods Inc. plant walked into the cafeteria and began firing. Breshears said when officers arrived the shooter was still moving through the building. He refused to answer most questions about what happened during the shooting and would not confirm the attack took place in the plant's cafeteria.

Plant employee Andre Porter, 38, of Atchison, said he was in the men's locker room when the gunman started shooting. He said the attack, which lasted about 10 minutes, happened during the plant's 5 p.m. shift break.

Porter told The Associated Press he saw the gunman tell some people in the cafeteria, "You haven't done anything to me, so you can go."

Three men wounded during the shooting were being treated at The University of Kansas Hospital, said spokesman Bob Hallinan. A 55-year-old male was in critical condition late Friday night, while two others were in serious condition. Breshears gave the ages of those two men as 44 and 60.

Police initially held many employees inside the plant as they began their investigation, leaving their family and friends wondering about their condition. While a few made contact with loved ones via cell phone, those gathered outside the plant initially struggled to deal with the lack of information.

"Everybody out here is trying to find out if their loved one is a victim or a survivor," said Robert Thompson, whose wife was inside when the shooting took place. Thompson later learned his wife was OK.

Workers held inside by police started to leave shortly after 9 p.m., while family members were taken to a community center several blocks away.

The shooting came a year and a day after an employee of a manufacturing plant in Jefferson City, Mo., shot eight people, three fatally, before killing himself in front of the city's police headquarters.

The ConAgra plant is in an industrial section of the city, near an intersection of interstates 70 and 635 that overlooks the Kansas River, about four miles southwest of downtown Kansas City, Mo.

Bob McKeon, a spokesman for ConAgra at its corporate headquarters in Omaha, Neb., said the company is working with police in the investigation.

"Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the families of the employees who have been involved in this tragedy," McKeon said.

The nation's second-largest food company, ConAgra has sold its red meat and chicken processing companies and is concentrating on distribution and sales of its packaged foods, including brands such as Banquet, Blue Bonnet, Chef Boyardee and La Choy.

The Kansas City facility is a refrigerated meat plant. Workers there process and slice meat for deli and sandwich products, McKeon said.

A posted sign on the property indicated that no guns were allowed at the plant. (emphasis added)

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