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Factory shooting shocks community

BY PJ HELLER | GOSHEN, IN | December 6, 2001

A gunman shot and killed a co-worker at a northern Indiana factory and wounded several other employees Thursday afternoon before killing himself, authorities reported.

Officials said six employees at the Nu-Wood Decorative Millwork

factory were wounded in the shooting, one seriously. Authorities had

initially reported that 30 to 35 people had been injured. Some 30

employees were working at the plant at the time of the 3 p.m. EST

shooting.

Authorities said the gunman, identified as Robert Wissman of Goshen,

apparently died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Sheriff's Deputy Julie Dijkstra told newsmen that Wissman had just

been fired or was about to be fired from his job at the factory,

which manufactures a polyurethane polymer that resembles wooden or

ornamental millwork. Employees said they had been warned about

Wissman by the company. They said Wissman had been talking and acting

strangely.

Police and SWAT teams were dispatched to the factory in an industrial

park on the edge of the town after receiving a 911 call at 2:31 p.m.

EST from an employee at the factory, according to the sheriff's

office. Nearby businesses were evacuated.

Goshen Police Chief Terry A. Schollian said investigators would be at

the building throughout Thursday night and into Friday.

Police, along with agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and

Firearms, cordoned off Wissman's house in Goshen. They were

proceeding cautiously fearing that it may have been booby-trapped.

A spokesman at Goshen General Hospital said five Nu-Wood workers,

five men and one woman, were brought there. The sheriff's office said

one of the injured was airlifted by medical helicopter to Parkview

Hospital in Fort Wayne. He was initially listed in critical condition

but his condition was later upgraded to serious. A General Hospital

spokesman said two of the injured were airlifted to Fort Wayne.

Goshen College, a small school run by Mennonites, had cautioned its

students and faculty to stay indoors as events were unfolding.

Students at an elementary school were also kept inside until police

gave the all clear.

Goshen is a community of about 25,000 located 25 miles southeast of

South Bend and about 100 miles east of Chicago.


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