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Breaking News

4 Killed, 5 Injured in Navistar Plant Shooting

Aired February 5, 2001 - 2:01 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

JOIE CHEN, CNN ANCHOR: In the Chicago suburb of Melrose Park, Illinois, investigators are still on the scene of a shooting a short time ago at an engine factory. Authorities say as many as four people were killed and as many as five were injured.

CNN's Lisa Leiter joins us now from that Navistar plant with the latest there -- Lisa.

LISA LEITER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Joie.

Well, those members that you just gave for the dead and the wounded are still very preliminarily. I want to stress that. And the sheriff's office said they'll be briefing us momentarily.

Now, we already know that two people were brought to a local hospital here. One man was dead on arrival, the other is in surgery right now. And another local hospital, also, got two victims, as well.

There are still investigators inside the building, searching right now.

And we spoke to a company spokesman earlier, and here is what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WE TERRY, PLANT ENGINEER: After we were told to evacuate I was in -- looking for our secretary, who I could not account for. As I was doing that, why -- two of my coworkers, one who I do remember was riding on an electric golf cart towards the dissolvent and being driven by another coworker.

QUESTION: And he talked...

TERRY: Yes.

QUESTION: .. he had been shot...

TERRY: Yes, he just told me he had been shot. And I made sure he gets -- Graham (ph) gets some medical attention.

QUESTION: Do you know anything about this?

TERRY: He seemed to be -- he seemed to be in pretty good shape.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEITER: I believe you were just listening to one of the workers here who is inside the engineering part of the building.

Now, what some of the workers who have told us was that the man who apparently came in to do the shooting was an ex-employee who was fired a few years ago, apparently for stealing engine parts. We have not confirmed that yet with authorities. But that's what a lot of workers here were telling us.

One other worker, who we spoke to today, said that he was very close to where the shooting took place. He was 17 days away from retirement. He heard gunshots that were near him there.

Now, we also know that there was one engineer who was evacuated about 9:30. He was not close to where the shooting took place.

Apparently, the man doing shooting had two weapons. We do not know, we have not confirmed with authorities some of the rumors around here, which say that he may have had an automatic weapon there.

Again, preliminary reports say four dead and five wounded here. And we are hoping for more information very shortly -- Joie.

CHEN: Lisa, explain to me a little bit about this complex. It looks like a very big place. And we have heard a couple different companies mentioned. Does it -- is it some sort of a compound of different plants, or is it one place or what?

LEITER: This is Navistar International's diesel engine facility. There are about 1400 employees here. And this is where they make diesel engines for their medium-duty trucks, and also for school buses here, as well. This is also their engine technology center where they do the testing for the engines as well.

It's a huge building. And one of the workers I spoke to here said that he was actually in temporary offices, outside the actual plant. And he was told to evacuate. You know, he said it was between around 9:00 and 10:00 this morning. He didn't have an exact time.

CHEN: CNN's Lisa Leiter on the scene, in Melrose Park, Illinois.

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