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One Dead After Ala. Plant Shooting

July 27, 2001

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) _ Gunfire erupted at two industrial plants Friday, leaving one man dead, another wounded and two of their co-workers in custody.

There was no known link between the shootings.

Television reports said the death at Dravo Lime Inc. followed an argument between two men over a pack of cigarettes, but police said they were still investigating the motive.

Kenneth Ray Cohill, 40, died after being shot in the chest with a small-caliber handgun inside a dressing area. A co-worker was taken into custody, but no charges were immediately filed. The company is about 30 miles south of Birmingham.

About 35 miles away in St. Clair County, police said a man who lost his job opened fire on a supervisor at Trans-Cycle Industries. The victim was in stable condition in hospital.

James Ronald Roberson, 61, was charged with attempted murder in the wounding of Doug Church, Trans-Cycle’s plant superintendent. Robertson had been fired 30 minutes before the shooting.

Police said Roberson changed clothes, left the building and returned with a .38-caliber revolver, shooting three times and hitting Church once.

Roberson was asked to leave a meeting Thursday where he tried to raise concerns about his pay during a discussion about plant safety, police said.

Dravo produces lime, a white power often used in concrete and for neutralizing acidic soil. Trans-Cycle Industries cleans hazardous chemicals from old electrical transformers and recycles the metal.

Update hourly