Feb. 5, 2001 -- A day before he was to begin serving a prison term for stealing from a Chicago-area engine factory where he once worked, a man killed four people at the plant and then took his own life, police say.
Another four were injured in the rampage at a Navistar engine factory in Melrose Park, officials said.
William Baker, a 66-year-old former Navistar worker who was fired by the company, opened fire around 10 a.m. at the firm's factory in the Chicago suburb of Melrose Park, the FBI said.
Baker had been fired by the company in 1994 for stealing engines and engine parts. He was indicted for the thefts in 1999 and plead guilty last November.
Baker was scheduled to begin serving a five-month prison sentence Tuesday.
Gunshots and Panic on a Monday Morning
Melrose Park Police Chief Vito Scavo said Baker showed up at the plant an arsenal of weapons ina golf bag. Baker told a plant security guard he needed to return something inside, and then pulled out a revolver and forced his way in.
Once inside, Baker opened firewith an AK-47 assault rifle, Scavo said. He carried a shotgun and a.30-caliber hunting rifle with a telescopic sight in addition tothe revolver during the 10 to15-minute assault. Baker, police said, traveled one to two blocks through the building, shooting seven people,three of them fatally, in an engineering area. He then went into anoffice where he killed one more person and then shot himself,police said.
"I just heard several, several gunshots," said Michael Kalagian, a Navistar engineer who fled when the shooting erupted.
"I heard three, three initially, and then when I was running for the exit I heard about … four more."
Kalagian said his coworkers recognized the gunman as a former Navistar employee.
Martin Reutimann was working inside the plant when the shooting started, but said he didn't hear the gunfire until he had run outside.
Someone "came into our offices, thankfully, and told somebody there'd been shooting, and we just ran," Reutiman said.
Two of the people killed were identified as Daniel Dorsch, an engine lab supervisor and Robert Wehrheim, a lab technician. The company did not release the names of rest those killed at the request of their families. Those who were the injured included: Carl Swanson, 45, Brian Snyder, 25, Mujtaba Aidross, 45, and Matt Kusch, 22.
Snyder and Kusch had been treated at area hospitals and released, the company said, but Swanson and Aidross were reported in critical condition.
The Navistar plant is located some 15 miles from the company's downtown Chicago headquarters. It is the second-biggest producer of heavy-duty trucks, which it sells under its international brand. It also produces truck engines, and employs about 1,400 people.