Tenn. Factory Worker Fatally Shoots 2 Supervisors, Self

A factory worker in eastern Tennessee fatally shot his two supervisors and then took his own life Thursday afternoon, law enforcement officials said.

The shootings occurred at the Thomas & Betts steel fabrication factory in Athens, located about 60 miles northeast of Chattanooga.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation identified the gunman as Ricky Swafford, 45, and the supervisors as James A. Zotter, 44, and Sandra H. Cooley, 68.

A preliminary investigation indicates that Swafford, a long-time employee of the plant, became upset during a meeting with Zotter and Cooley.

Swafford abruptly left the meeting and the building, and returned shortly afterwards to the office where he met with his supervisors. He then fatally shot both of them, according to the TBI.

Swafford's body was found in a bathroom in the factory by police officers, with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, the TBI said.

Police responded to a 911 call at 4:16 p.m. of an active shooter at the factory, Athens police chief Chuck Ziegler said at a press conference earlier in the day. As officers responded, they saw employees streaming out of the plant.

The investigation remains active and ongoing.

The bodies of the two victims, as well as the shooter, will be taken to Knoxville for autopsies.

ABB, the parent company of Thomas & Betts, said in a statement, "Our loss is profound. The ABB family is shocked and saddened by the tragedy," adding that grief counselors are being made available to employees.

ABC News' Darren Reynolds contributed to this report.
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