September 10, 2010 by staff
Kraft Shooting, A woman who had just been suspended from her job returned to the Kraft Foods plant baking in northeast Philadelphia on Thursday night and opened fire with a .357 Magnum pistol, killing two colleagues and wounding a third, police said.
SWAT team members arrested the shooter -identified by colleagues as Yvonne Hiller – after a deadlock on the second floor of the plant at 12000 Roosevelt Boulevard, police said.
Seven workers trapped in a quality control room were unharmed, police said.
Two women died during the attack, police said. They were not identified immediately.
A retired construction man was shot in the neck and shoulder and was taken to Health Aria – Torresdale Campus, police said. An official of Kraft said early Friday that a fourth person, a contract worker, was injured less seriously.
The Kraft Foods plant, for many years known as the Nabisco factory, Kraft is where cookies and Ritz crackers makes Lorna Doone.
“This is a sad day for the Kraft Foods family,” said Susan Davison, company director of corporate affairs, said in a statement emailed to The Inquirer. “We are sad to report that two employees died as a result of this incident. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families.”
At 8:35 pm, Hiller, who worked at the plant for 15 years, was suspended from his job and escorted from the premises, said Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey.
Nine minutes later, Hiller drove through a fence surrounding the plant and entered the building armed with a .357 Magnum handgun, said Ramsey.
Hiller addressed the third floor of mixing room – where he worked as a mixer, co-workers, he said – and opened fire, said Ramsey.
“I do not know what his motive is and I do not want to guess,” said Ramsey.
About 100 workers were reportedly inside the plant when the shooting occurred.
The seven employees who remained were trying to hide from Hiller, Ramsey said. Several of them called 911 to describe its location and where Hiller was on the second floor.
When police arrived, Hiller fired a shot through a wall three officers, but did not return fire, police said. In a time marked Hiller 911 and spoke with a police operator.
After turning off the lights on the second floor, Hiller reportedly ducked into an office until he was arrested by SWAT at 9:35 pm
An employee of 57 years of age, who declined to be identified, said he was working on the second floor in the packaging department when someone came in and shouted “Out!” Out! ” Then he heard a loud explosion.
“I knew it was a firearm,” said the man.
As employees ran from the building, the police had already arrived and were running, he said.
Tanya Bussey was at home in bed when she received a call from his sister, Valerie Johnson, 42, who work at the plant.
Her sister called to tell me that someone was shooting and then the call is disconnected, Bussey said.
“I just started to panic,” Bussey said, adding that she called another sister and went to the plant to see if your sister was fine. She learned that Valerie was uninjured.
Just after 1 am Friday, police removed the bodies of two victims of the plant.
Police said the plant was closed overnight and delivery trucks were being rejected.
“We are working closely with the authorities, to investigate this situation, and our facility is closed until further notice,” Davison said Kraft. “This is a tragic loss for us all. To help our employees, we will be providing advisory services in the installation. At this moment, we are still trying to confirm the facts. Once again, express our deepest condolences to the families who have been touched by this tragedy.
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