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Gunman Kills 6 in Mississippi Lockheed Martin Factory - 2003-07-08

At least six people are dead and eight others wounded after a gunman opened fire on workers at an aircraft plant in the southern U.S. state of Mississippi. Among the dead is the gunmen, who police say was a disgruntled employee who espoused racist views.

Workers at the Lockheed Martin plant in Meridian, Mississippi had just returned from a short break Tuesday morning, when one of their co-workers, employed as an assembler, began walking through the plant shooting people with a shotgun and a semi-automatic rifle.

The man was identified as Doug Williams. People who worked with him say he espoused racist views and made threats against his colleagues. Among the victims were several African-Americans.

Police say the man killed himself before law enforcement authorities arrived. They say they do not know what his motive was. The killings were the deadliest workplace shootings in the United States since December 2000, when a software tester killed seven people in the state of Massachusetts.

About 130 people are employed at the plant making parts for the giant Hercules C-130 aircraft and other military aircraft. Lockheed Martin is the biggest defense contractor in the United States.