A man who killed one coworker and wounded two others at a baby food plant yesterday and then killed himself had claimed that people at work taunted him, his employers said.
Charles Calvin Lewis, 53, entered the plant cafeteria at Ross Laboratories shortly before the morning shift change, pulled a .357 magnum revolver from a brown lunch bag and opened fire.
Eugene Erwin, 31, was the first struck by the bullets as he drank coffee with three friends, police said. He was critically wounded.
Police said Lewis then rushed from the cafeteria into the plant, where he wounded Arthur Hammonds, 62, and killed Ethelbert Dye, 49.
Police Sgt. Willard Orndorf cornered Lewis in a loading area of the plant.
"I told him to drop the gun," said Orndorf. "About that time, he stuck the gun to his head and blew his head off. He never said a word. He was glassy-eyed. A strange look on his face, like he was in outer space somewhere."
According to the personnel office, Lewis was given a medical leave of absence in February because of "apparent emotional problems" and returned several months later after psychiatric counseling.
Plant personnel officials told police that Lewis had presented a list to them of persons he claimed had taunted him, made fun of him, or were out to get him. It was at that point that the company put Lewis on medical leave.