Friday 15 December 2017

Three die after US factory shooting

A woman cries after hearing about a workplace shooting in Fresno, California (AP)
A woman cries after hearing about a workplace shooting in Fresno, California (AP)

Three people have died following a shooting at a California chicken processing plant, US authorities have said.

A man pulled a gun and opened fire at the business on Tuesday, killing two people and wounding two others, before taking his own life, authorities said.

Police said they do not know what prompted the attack by Lawrence Jones, 42, midway through his shift at Apple Valley Farms in Fresno, although other workers told police he did not appear to be himself when he arrived at the plant for work.

"It is difficult to say at this point if in fact there was a specific target that Jones was looking for," police chief Jerry Dyer said.

Jones had an extensive criminal history dating back into the 1990s, Dyer said without elaborating.

Police said they had Jones' home on lockdown and were searching to see if there are any other victims.

Jones arrived at work just before 5am. About three-and-a-half hours into his shift, he pulled out a handgun and began firing, Mr Dyer said.

About 30 employees witnessed the shooting, and there were a total of 62 people at work when the gunfire started, police said.

Officers found Jones with a gunshot wound to the head and a 32-year-old woman bleeding from a wound to her lower back outside the business. She is in stable condition, Mr Dyer said.

Three other people were found shot inside. One was pronounced dead at the scene. Jones and another victim were pronounced dead later.

Press Association

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