September 20, 2012 / 3:00 PM / 5 years ago

Chrysler factory worker killed by co-worker in Detroit

Chrysler auto assembly workers work on the line assembling Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Durangos at the Chrysler Jefferson North Assembly plant in Detroit, Michigan April 26, 2012.Rebecca Cook

DETROIT (Reuters) - A worker was stabbed to death on Thursday morning after an argument inside a Chrysler Group LLC plant in Detroit, and a coworker suspected of killing him was later found dead, apparently having shot himself, police and the company said.

Work at the Jefferson North Assembly plant was quickly suspended for the first shift and the plant was locked down.

Employees were released at around 10 a.m. once police determined it was safe for them to leave the plant, Chrysler's manufacturing chief Scott Garberding told a news conference.

Chrysler also canceled Thursday's second shift that normally reports in the late afternoon. Grief counselors were called to the plant on Thursday, and production was due to resume on Friday.

The two workers, who were not identified by Chrysler or Detroit police, had an "ongoing" dispute, but Detroit Police Inspector Dwane Blackmon said the nature of their problems was unclear.

Police said that at around 7:50 a.m., one worker confronted and stabbed the other, a former union shop steward, near a loading dock. The suspect in the stabbing quickly left the plant. "Based on what I believe, there was a definite intention on stabbing this individual," Blackmon said.

The stabbing victim died at the plant. The suspect was later found dead in a black Jeep parked on Belle Isle, an island park on the Detroit River. He died of a self-inflicted gunshot, Blackmon said.

Blackmon described the incident as "isolated." Chrysler does not have metal detectors at the plant, but Garberding said the company would review its safety procedures.

Chrysler makes Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Dodge Durango sport utility vehicles at the plant, which was built in 1991.

Reporting by Deepa Seetharaman and Bernie Woodall; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Claudia Parsons

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