Police: Illinois warehouse shooting suspect killed himself

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A 48-year-old man suspected in the fatal shooting of two co-workers and the critical wounding of another at a Springfield, Illinois, warehouse died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, the city’s police chief said Friday.

Michael L. Collins of Springfield, two other men and a woman all arrived for work about 7 a.m. Friday in the welding area of the Bunn-O-Matic facility, Springfield Chief Kenny Winslow said during a news conference.

The shooting happened shortly after 11 a.m., police said.

The sheriff of nearby Morgan County called the chief’s office later in the day to say the suspect’s body had been found in his car, a victim of a gunshot wound, Winslow said.

Two handguns were found alongside Collins’ body in his car after the shooting. No other suspects were being sought.

Winslow released Collins’ name earlier Friday but later said he would not repeat it.

The names of the slain victims were not released, neither was the name of a female co-workers who was in critical condition at a hospital.

The bodies of the two employees were found by police officers searching the building. The female employee was found injured in the parking lot and was rushed to a hospital, he said.

Winslow said one of the men who died was in his 60s, one was in his 20s and the woman who was critically injured is in her 50s.

Winslow said investigators were seeking a motive behind the shootings.

One employee described a chaotic scene when the crack of of gunfire shattered an otherwise quiet workday. Charles Bantle estimated that about half of the warehouse employees weren’t working due to concerns about the coronavirus.

“I was in the maintenance shop and just heard the gunshots and everybody started running,” Bantle, told The (Springfield) State Journal-Register. “And I’m in maintenance, so I figured something’s broken. So I started walking towards it, figured it was the air compressor blowing up or something, and I was going to have to go fix it. But then everyone was screaming and yelling, telling me to go the other way. So we all ran and took cover.”

About 100 employees hurried from the company’s main building, and police gathered them together to determine if everyone had left the facility, the police chief said.

Bunn-O-Matic manufactures dispensed beverage equipment, and is headquartered in Springfield, according to the company’s website.

___

Babwin reported from Chicago.

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