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franklin county times

Anatomy of a nightmare
Tracing events of a tragic Tuesday

By Staff
Terror continues
9:40 a.m.: Sollie sat in his office in downtown Meridian, searching the Internet for information on an upcoming conference designed to prepare law officers for terrorism.
Sollie was trying to determine if he and his deputies should attend the conference.
At Lockheed Martin, Threatt stood on the plant floor and was talking with Williams' direct supervisor, Jeff McWilliams. Threatt, a union steward, said he was told by McWilliams that Williams left the mandatory class.
Threatt ran to Williams and pleaded "No Doug! Don't do this."
Police called
9:43 a.m.: McWilliams and other Lockheed workers immediately called 911.
Back at the sheriff's department, Sollie was sitting in his office with Maj. Ward Calhoun when the dispatch received the emergency call. Sollie and Calhoun headed for the plant.
Inside the plant, Threatt raced behind Williams and screamed for people to take cover. But that was a tough task the plant is so noisy that some employees where Williams was headed were wearing ear plugs.
Threatt raced to his co-workers' aid, but they were already dead. Killed were Lynette McCall, Thomas Willis and Charlie Miller. Injured in the firing were Henry Odom and Randy Wright.
Then Threatt and another employee, David Blanks, watched as Williams' girlfriend, Shirley J. Price, held up her hands and pleaded with him to stop. Williams did.
Chaotic scene
9:49 a.m.: Sollie and Calhoun arrived at the plant with several other law enforcement officers. They surrounded the building and helped employees seek shelter away from the plant.
Inside the plant, Threatt had heard that co-workers had been shot inside the training trailer so he headed towards them. There, he said, he watched his fellow employees become heroes.
When Threatt walked in the trailer, he saw Mark Haggard holding pressure on Charles Scott's injured leg. At the same time, Calvin Driggers ran around helping anyone he could.
Meanwhile, DuBose also was busy. She took off her flannel shirt and used it in an effort to stop the bleeding from Delois Bailey's side.
Uneasy sleep
12 midnight Wednesday: Sollie, physically and mentally drained, sat in bed in his North Meridian home and tried to sleep.
Sollie witnessed the after-effects of the most violent crime he had ever seen. He and his deputies helped to return order to a hectic, chaotic scene at Lockheed Martin.
Sollie also hosted two news conferences and spoke on his cell phone to newspaper, television and radio reporters from around the world about what had happened.
It was the only thing he thought about the entire day. And now he wanted to sleep.
A few miles down the road in Marion, Threatt was also trying to get some sleep. But he wasn't as successful as the sheriff, not after what happened, not after what he saw.