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.
Police said the suspect 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 alleged stabber 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. The plant has about 2,890 workers, with plans to add 1,100 early next year when a third shift will be added.
“This is a very large facility, it employs a lot of people,” WWJ Auto Beat Reporter Jeff Gilbert said. “It’s the kind of facility that, if something happened and they were to put it on lockdown, it would take a very long time to do a search for anybody in there because there are obviously a lot of places people can hide — especially somebody who knows the facility.”
Chrysler officials said they would decide later whether or not the plant would reopen in the afternoon.