ATHENS, Tenn. (AP) — A man who fatally shot two supervisors and then killed himself at an electrical components plant in eastern Tennessee had a state-issued permit to carry handguns in public, law enforcement officials said Friday.
Ricky Swafford, who had worked at the Thomas & Betts plant a more than 15 years, walked out of a meeting with the supervisors and returned with a pistol, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Susan Niland said. Swafford then shot supervisors Sandra Cooley and James Zotter before apparently turning the gun on himself in a restroom, she said.
“There are no appearances at this point that this was anything that was planned,” Niland said. “He did have a meeting with his supervisors, and it was during that meeting that he apparently experienced some agitation.”
Under a state law enacted in 2013, workers with carry permits are allowed to store firearms in vehicles parked at work regardless of their employers’ wishes. Thomas & Betts manager Pat Joyce said the company has an employee policy concerning firearms, but he declined to elaborate. Continue reading