WOODHAVEN (WWJ) – Authorities say a disgruntled Ford employee shot and killed himself at the company’s stamping plant in Woodhaven.
It happened around 9 a.m. Friday at the facility along West Road near I-75. Officials say 21-year-old Jacoby Hennings of Harper Woods — a part-time, temporary worker — brought a handgun inside an office portion of the plant and confronted an auto union chairman.
Police were called and as officers arrived at the plant, the worker turned the gun on himself fired one shot. He died at the scene. No officers nor any other employees were harmed.
The chairman’s daughter, who did not want to be named, told WWJ’s Mike Campbell what happened.
“(My dad) was in his office and the guy came into his office and I guess they — I don’t know what was going on, but there was something he wasn’t happy with and he walked out and then my dad noticed he had a gun,” she said. “So, he went out the other door of his office and told everyone on the floor to evacuate.”
Other circumstances, including a motive, are not known at this time. It appears the employee was having some sort of “labor relations issue,” according to police.
Shortly before the shooting, the suspect dropped a backpack inside the building that some thought could have possibly contained a bomb. Officials inspected the package and found nothing suspicious about the bag.
Ford issued a brief statement following the incident saying, “Employees at Woodhaven Stamping Plant are safe after they were evacuated when a worker pulled a gun at the plant and shot himself. Woodhaven Police are on the scene.”
With multiple law enforcement agencies on the scene, workers were evacuated. For several hours, police continued searching the building to make sure no further threat exists.
Although an investigation is ongoing, police said the scene was cleared by around 1 p.m.
In an updated statement released Friday afternoon, Ford said: “Our deepest condolences go out to the family, friends and co-workers of the Woodhaven Stamping Plant employee who lost his life at the plant today. Grief counselors are on site and production is cancelled for the remainder of the day.”
The factory employs 420 people who make door panels, hoods, truck bodies and other parts. Hennings had only been working at the plant part-time since March.