ST. LOUIS (CN) – A class action lawsuit may have set off the man who went on a fatal shooting rampage at the ABB plant in St. Louis on Thursday morning. Timothy Hendron, 51, opened fire at the plant’s 6:30 a.m shift change. Eight people were shot; three died and five were wounded before Hendron shot himself to death, police said. A bench trial of the class action began Tuesday.
Co-workers say Hendron was a longtime employee of ABB, a Swiss-based company that manufactures generators and transformers. In 2006, he was one of the named plaintiffs in a federal class action complaint against ABB over its handling of employees’ retirement plans.
The trial is expected to take four weeks.
Police, however, refused to comment on a motive.
The shootings created a chaotic scene in north St. Louis. Police set a 2-mile perimeter around the plant and Interstate 70 was closed in both directions for several hours, while police searched for Hendron.
Employees hid on the plant’s roof and in maintenance closets. Some used cell phones and text messaging from their hiding places to let loved ones know they were safe and to alert police where they were so they could be rescued. Local news helicopters broadcast tactical SWAT teams storming the building.
Hendron lived in Webster Groves, a St. Louis suburb, 10 miles southwest of the city limits, with his wife and teen-age son.