Defence plant gunman kills five

An armed worker at a US defence contractor’s plant opened fire on colleagues today, killing five before committing suicide.

An armed worker at a US defence contractor’s plant opened fire on colleagues today, killing five before committing suicide.

Eight other people were taken to hospital.

County Sheriff Billy Sollie confirmed the deaths and injuries at the Lockheed Martin plant in Meridian, Mississippi.

“He had a shotgun and a semiautomatic rifle and he appeared to open fire at random on employees,” he said.

After blasting away at colleagues, the man then turned a gun on himself.

Sollie said no other individuals were involved and his officers were securing the scene.

Investigators did not know of the motive, he said.

Sollie didn’t release the name of the gunman but said he was a Lockheed Martin employee. He had no information on whether the man had been in trouble with his employers.

Officials at the plant declined to comment and a Lockheed Martin national spokeswoman was unavailable to immediately provide details.

“We’re just trying to gather information and are working with state and local authorities to determine the details of the incident,” said spokeswoman Meaghan Mariman from the company’s headquarters in Maryland.

The Meridian plant builds parts for the C-130 Hercules transport plane and the F-22 Raptor stealth fighters.

Lockheed Martin is the largest defence contractor in the United States with a staff of 125,000 people.

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