** BREAKING NEWS **
Gunman strikes Lockheed
from staff reports
JULY 8, 2003 11 A.M.
A heavily-armed man walked into the Lockheed-Martin manufacturing plant today at the Montgomery Industrial Park and opened fire. Early reports indicated that as many as six people were killed and at least half a dozen more wounded.
Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie said the shooter, who had not been identified as of press time, was dead, apparently after turning a gun on himself.
Lauderdale County sheriff's deputies, Meridian city police, state Highway Patrol and representatives of the state Crime Lab were investigating the incident.
At the scene, Lockheed Martin employees were gathered in the break room as the buildings were secured by law officers. Reporters observed at least eight ambulances coming and going as at least eight victims were transported to local hospitals by 10:45 a.m.
Early reports indicated that a man dressed in camouflage clothing and carrying a shotgun and a semi-automatic rifle entered Lockheed buildings and began to fire. The reasons for his actions were not readily apparent.
Officials were working on compiling a list of Lockheed employees so they could begin the task of confirming the dead and notifying families.
Mary Busby, whose husband Gary has worked 20 years for the parts department at Lockheed, was pacing on Russell-Marion Road about 100 yards away from the building.
She had joined about 30 other family members who were waiting for news from the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department.
Busby was at work at Rush Foundation Hospital when her mother-in-law called her about the shooting and said that Gary was OK.
Lockheed-Martin manufacturers a tail component of the F-22 Raptor, a new generation jet fighter aircraft.