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Kan. factory shooting leaves workers' families wondering

By Associated Press
Published July 3, 2004

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A shooter at a meatpacking plant killed four people and wounded three others Friday before committing suicide, police said.

Deputy police chief Col. Sam Breshears said five people were killed in the shooting at the ConAgra Foods Inc. plant in Kansas City, Kan. Police earlier had given different totals of those killed, ranging from four to seven.

The three people wounded were being treated at the University of Kansas Hospital, spokesman Bob Hallinan said. Breshears said one was in critical condition.

A police dispatcher who did not give her name said a ConAgra employee walked into the cafeteria and began firing, then killed himself. Police said they received a call reporting the shooting at 5:12 p.m.

Several employees on shift when the shooting took place were not being allowed to immediately leave the plant, police said.

While a few had made contact with loved ones via cell phone, many friends and family gathered outside the plant waiting for 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.

Family members later were taken to a community center several blocks away.

Police spokeswoman Mary Solem said the employees were being kept in a safe location, and chaplains and victim advocates were there to "calm them down."

The ConAgra plant is located in an industrial section of the city, about four miles southwest of downtown Kansas City, Mo.

[Last modified July 3, 2004, 01:00:34]

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