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Mother of Killer Files Workers Comp Claim

October 8, 2003

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ The mother of a man who killed three people and wounded five at a factory before committing suicide filed a workers’ compensation claim, saying her son suffered ``death by gunfire″ at work.

``I don’t feel I should have to pay for the actions that he chose to do,″ said Nina Tichelkamp-Russell, who filed the claim 10 days after the July 1 shooting at the Modine Manufacturing Co.

``I think if there are indicators (of a problem at work) then there are certain people out there who have a responsibility.″

The company rejected the claim for death benefits, said Mick Lucareli, a spokesman for Racine, Wis.-based Modine.

The state workers’ compensation division will have the final say.

Jonathon Russell, 25, punched his time card before he fatally shot three co-workers and wounded five at the plant. He then drove to a police station, where he fired at two officers before he killed himself.

On the standardized claim form, Tichelkamp-Russell wrote that her son suffered ``death by gunfire while on company clock (time).″ The form gives no more details of how the death occurred.

The form was obtained by the Columbia Daily Tribune, the newspaper reported this week.

``In summary, our opinion is Mr. Russell died of a self-inflicted wound which took place away from his place of employment,″ said Lucareli, the Modine spokesman.

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