Detroit Chrysler Plant Worker Killed

Sep 20, 2012 02:51 PM EDT | Matt Mercuro

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Chrysler

(Photo : Reuters)

An auto worker was stabbed to death by a fellow employee this morning inside Chrysler SUV factory in Detroit, Michigan.

The victim, later identified as Keith Readus, was pronounced dead at the scene after being stabbed by co-worker Jeff Hunter at 8 a.m. in the loading dock area of the plant. WWJ-950, a Detroit area radio station, reported that police have already confirmed that at 11:30 a.m. Hunter took his own life at nearby Belle Isle in downtown Detroit.

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The altercation between the two men, who had worked together in the plant for 18 years, took place in the loading dock area. The stabbing reportedly took place due to a suspected relationship Readus was having with Hunter's wife.

No other employees were injured according to Chrysler spokeswoman Jodi Tinson to USA Today.

Police and plant officials were able to determine that Hunter had exited the building already, and it did not take long for them to locate him. His body was discovered by police in a parked Jeep in a city park close to the plant with at least one self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Most of the workers at the plant did not initially know the seriousness of what happened in the plant right away. The company held a meeting to inform the workers of the murder scene and that the building was being locked down until they found the suspect.

The plant specializes in manufacturing the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango SUVs and currently employs over 3,000 workers on two shifts. Workers on the first shift were sent home after the incident and cancelled the second shift at the plant.  

The United Auto Workers Union released a statement about the incident: "The UAW expresses our deepest sympathy to the families of our members involved in the tragic incident today at Chrysler's Jefferson North Assembly Plant. Although many details are unknown at this time, we are deeply saddened by the loss of life."

Between 1997 and 2010, eight homicides in car manufacturing plants have taken place according to the department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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