2 dead, 2 injured at Mueller plant in Alabama

ALBERTVILLE, Ala. — Police say an employee at a water distribution plant opened fire on coworkers early Tuesday before taking his own life, leaving two others dead and two wounded.

Michael Lee Dobbins and David Lee Horton, both of Boaz, Alabama, died in the shooting at Mueller Co., around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, said Albertville police chief Jamie Smith. The suspect was identified Tuesday afternoon as Andreas Deon Horton, 34, of Dekalb County. 

The two wounded employees were taken to a hospital in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Police have not determined a motive. 

The suspect used a handgun to fire an unknown number of rounds at his coworkers, Smith said. Shortly before 6 a.m., the gunman was found dead in a vehicle in downtown Guntersville from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Multiple weapons were recovered from the vehicle, Smith said. 

“Officers are still working toward a motive as to why the shooting occurred, which will hopefully be discovered in the coming days,” Smith said.

Albertville, in northern Alabama, is the largest city in Marshall County and is 62 miles northeast from Birmingham. More than 400 people work at the Mueller Co. plant, which makes water distribution and measurement products, giving the city its nickname of “Fire Hydrant Capital of the World.” 

Company officials from Mueller Co. offered condolences to loved ones of victims, as well as “the entire Mueller family,” according to a statement.

“Our entire focus is on the health and well-being of our colleagues, and we are committed to providing any and all support to them and their families,” the statement said.

At least three law enforcement agencies are on the scene this morning at Mueller in Albertville.

Albertville Mayor Tracy Honea called Mueller Co. “an integral part of the lifeblood and workforce” of Albertville for almost 50 years and offered her condolences to the families of victims.

“They are dedicated, important partners of this community and we hurt with them today,” she said in a statement.

Mueller Co. is based in Cleveland, Tennessee, and is a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Mueller Water Products Inc. The company’s plant in Aurora, Illinois, was the site of a mass shooting in February 2009 when five people were killed by an employee who was going to be fired

Reach Gadsden Times reporter Donna Thornton at [email protected]

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