DETROIT (WWJ) – Detroit police confirmed the man suspected of fatally stabbing a worker Thursday morning at the Chrysler Jefferson North Assembly plant has taken his own life — dying from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Belle Isle.
The plant has reportedly been idled following the deadly attack.
One Chrysler employee, who did not want to give his name, told WWJ Newsradio 950 a fight broke out between a line worker and a material handler a few days ago. He said things escalated on Thursday, and one worker slit the other worker’s throat as he sat in a break room shortly after 8 a.m.
He said the subject of the argument was the suspect’s wife, who also worked at the plant.
Police said the alleged stabber immediately fled the scene.The plant was put on lockdown, and later idled.
The worker said, as you would imagine, everyone is very distraught.
“They have grief counselors in here; they have Detroit’s version of CSIs in here right now, detectives, FBI, everybody,” he said. “They’re letting everbody go home. Now that they found out that the gentleman did kill himself at Belle Isle they’re letting us all go home.”
The employee described the suspect as a hard worker who pretty much stayed to himself.
The factory, which opened in 1991 and was recently upgraded, occupies 2.7 million square feet, and produces the Jeep Cherokee and Dodge Durango SUV. The plant has about 2,890 workers, with plans to add 1,100 early next year when a third shift will be added.
Chrysler officials said no weapons are allowed inside the plant, which does not have metal detectors. Chrysler Senior Vice President Scott Garberding said they now plan to increase security at the facility.
Second shift was canceled Thursday but will reopen ahead of first shift Friday morning.
At a news conference Thursday afternoon, police were asked about reports of a love triangle as a possible motive.
“We don’t know for sure what the motive was, but as some point in time we will be able to determine that,” said Detroit Police Inspector Dwane Blackmon, adding that they have been talking to witnesses who described the two men as having an ongoing dispute.
Blackmon said authorities would not release the identities of the suspect and the victim until relatives were notified.