Lockheed Martin shooting
|Lockheed Martin shooting|
Douglas Williams, perpetrator of the shooting
|Location||Meridian, Mississippi, United States|
|Date||July 8, 2003 |
9:30 a.m. – 9:40 a.m.
|Mass murder, murder-suicide, massacre, workplace shooting|
|Deaths||7 (including the perpetrator)|
The Lockheed Martin shooting was an act of workplace violence that occurred on July 8, 2003, at the Lockheed Martin plant in Meridian, Mississippi. The gunman, Douglas Williams, was a 48-year-old divorced father of two. He was an assembly line worker at the plant. He shot 14 of his co-workers with a shotgun, killing six of them, before committing suicide.
On the day of the shooting, Williams attended a mandatory ethics and diversity class together with 13 others. According to some colleagues, Williams arrived at the plant in a very agitated state and made threats to kill other workers. Others, who said they talked to him prior to the shooting, stated that he "gave no indications that anything was wrong". Williams only stayed at the meeting for a few minutes. After having a normal conversation with his colleague Al Collier, who described it as a "friendly little talk", Williams suddenly stormed out of the room, saying "Y'all can handle this." Telling his supervisor, Jeff McWilliams, that he would take the matters into his own hands, Williams went to retrieve several guns from his pickup truck.
At approximately 9:30 a.m., Williams entered the room, yelling "I told y'all to stop fucking with me! Didn't I tell y'all not to fuck with me?", and began shooting. He first killed Mickey Fitzgerald, who tried to calm him down, with a shot in the face, before turning his attention towards a group of four workers on the floor. Remarking "There's four right there", Williams killed Sam Cockrell, who he believed had made complaints about him to the management; he wounded Al Collier, who was shot in the back and right hand, and he wounded Charles Scott, and fatally wounded DeLois Bailey when she tried to flee. Steve Cobb, the plant manager, as well as Brad Bynum, Chuck McReynolds, and Brenda Dubose, whose head and hand were grazed by bullet fragments, were also wounded by ricochet. Williams then went out of the room, but returned after a short while and, searching and calling for Jack Johns, the production manager, continued shooting.
Williams eventually left the annex and headed for the main factory, searching for other employees who had reported him to the management for making racist threats. There, he was apprehended by his colleague Pete Threatt, who tried to take away his gun, but Williams pushed him out of the way, lowered the shotgun with the words "Get out of my way or I'll kill you, too" and moved on. While Threatt tried to make the others aware of the gunman, screaming for people to take cover, Williams walked through the plant and shot five other people, most of them at point-blank range. He killed Charles J. Miller, Thomas Willis, and Lynette McCall at their work stations and wounded Henry Odom and Randy Wright, before his girlfriend and co-worker, Shirley J. Price, began pleading with him to stop shooting. Williams then committed suicide in front of her by shooting himself in the torso. His rampage had lasted approximately ten minutes.
Six people were killed in the shooting. They are:
- DeLois Bailey, 53, succumbed to her wounds on July 15
- Sam Cockrell, 46, of Meridian, Mississippi
- Micky Fitzgerald, 45, of Little Rock, Mississippi
- Lynette McCall, 47, of Cuba, Alabama
- Charles J. Miller, 58, of Meridian, Mississippi
- Thomas Willis, 57, of Lisman, Alabama
- Brad Bynum, 29
- Steve Cobb, 46
- Al Collier, 49
- Brenda Dubose, 55
- Chuck McReynolds, 62
- Henry Odom, 57
- Charles Scott, 65
- Randy Wright, 55
As five of the six people killed by Williams were black and coworkers described him as making racist remarks, it was initially believed that the murder might have been racially motivated. However, police stated that the shooting was more likely random, as most of the injured were white.
One of Williams' cousins said he was not a racist and even had black friends. The cousin described him as depressed. He also said that Doug Williams had expressed concern "about something to do with a meeting at work". It was said that Williams had threatened others for no reason and was angry at everybody. He had run-ins with management and fellow workers and felt mistreated.
- Six Dead In Mississippi Massacre, CBS News (July 9, 2003)
- "Mad At The World", CBS News (July 9, 2003)
- Anatomy of a nightmare, The Meridian Star (July 15, 2003)
- Lockheed Martin: Three years later, The Meridian Star (July 8, 2006)
- Lockheed Workplace Murders Targeted Blacks, ABC News (May 12, 2005)
- Man Kills 5 Co-Workers at Plant and Himself, The New York Times (July 9, 2003)
- 6 dead in Miss. factory shooting, USA Today (July 8, 2003)
- Lockheed Murder Victims, ABC News
- Toll Rises In Plant Shooting, The New York Times (July 16, 2003)
- Plant gunman "mad at the world", USA Today (July 8, 2003)
- 6 dead in shooting at Mississippi defense plant, USA Today (July 9, 2003)
- Six dead in Mississippi shooting, ABC News (July 9, 2003)
- 6 dead in shooting at Mississippi aircraft plant, Sun.Star (July 9, 2003)