3 dead in plant shooting in East Tennessee

Three people died Thursday in a shooting at an East Tennessee factory, police said.

The shooter's body was found in a bathroom, dead of what "appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound," Athens Police Chief Charles Ziegler said. All three of the dead were employees of the plant.

The Knoxville News Sentinel said the shooting was reported around 4:15 p.m. at Thomas & Betts Corp. Police arrived to find people "streaming" from all exits, Ziegler said.

The police chief said the shooter was apparently using a semi-automatic pistol, but he didn't know the caliber or brand.

Witnesses described "some attempted shooting in the front office and actual shooting deep inside the factory on the north side and the middle," Ziegler said.

The names of the dead were not released.

"We cannot confirm any information on any of the victims," Ziegler said. "We have not even gotten the investigators in there."

Thomas & Betts is headquarters in suburban Memphis. It designs and makes electrical components for industrial, commercial, lighting and utility markets.

Ziegler said the company was sending teams of people to assist employees dealing with the situation.
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