Kansas Plant Killings

Not Random, Police Say

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Elijah Brown's co-workers had a hard time making sense of him. He paced, he talked to himself, he got bothered over teasing that would not faze other people.

The 21-year-old meatpacking plant worker used two handguns to shoot seven co-workers, killing five of them, before killing himself.

Police did not offer a motive for Friday's 10-minute rampage but said there appeared to be nothing random about the killings at the ConAgra Foods Inc. plant in Kansas City, Kan. They said he passed by some co-workers, telling them, "You haven't done anything to me, so you can go."

"This person acted with purpose; he knew exactly what he was doing," Police Chief Ron Miller said.

Three of those killed were members of an extended family, and a relative said Brown had had an argument with one of them. Lonnie Ellingburg, 46, was uncle by marriage to Travis Nelson, 23, both of Kansas City, Kan., and nephew to Ardell L. Edwards, 55, of Grandview, Mo., relatives said.

Ellingburg's brother-in law, David Pledger of Kansas City, Kan., said there had been a "tiff" between Nelson and Brown. He speculated that the other two victims were "probably just in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Miller said Brown also shot and killed Leonardo Rodriguez, 49, of Kansas City, Kan.; and a 45-year-old Mexican national whose name was not released pending notification of his family. Four victims died at the plant, and Edwards died hours later at a hospital.

Wounded were Juan Ramirez, 44, of Kansas City, Kan.; and Victor Coggs, 60, of Harrisonville, Mo.

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-- From News Services

The Cassini-Huygens spacecraft, using filters, provided this view of Saturn's moon Titan, which is inscrutable to the human eye.