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Shots Fired at Suburban Detroit Ford Plant

November 14, 1996

WIXOM, Mich. (AP) _ A man dressed in camouflage fired shots today at a Ford Motor Co. plant, then left and opened fire toward the nearby freeway, authorities and witnesses said. At least one person, a sheriff’s deputy, was wounded.

``He came into the cafeteria first, started shooting with some weapon. He was spraying bullets all over the place,″ Ford spokesman Bill Carroll said.

After that, ``he came outside and started shooting at cars on the freeway,″ Carroll said.

Carroll could not confirm whether anyone was wounded inside the plant northwest of Detroit. No one reported recognizing the gunman, he said.

Amy Middleton, a spokeswoman at Providence Hospital in nearby Novi, said a 46-year-old Oakland County sheriff’s deputy was being treated for a gunshot wound to the shoulder.

Interstate 96 a few hundred yards from the plant was closed with more than a dozen police cars surrounding a small grassy area. But two hours after the late-morning shooting, the gunman was still at large, police said.

An unidentified worker told WDIV the man came in and started walking around the plant firing. ``He looked like Rambo,″ the employee said. He said workers began running for exits.

Much of the plant was evacuated after the shooting, Carroll said. The 4.2-million-square-foot plant makes luxury Continental and Town Car models. It employs about 3,200 people working two shifts.

It was at least the fourth shooting at an area auto plant in the past 2 1/2 years.

In August, a Ford employee killed a Ford security guard at a plant in western Wayne County over a run-in with the guard’s daughter, then shot himself to death, police said. On Jan. 7, 1995, a worker at the same plant wounded his estranged wife, then killed her boyfriend and himself.

On Dec. 9, 1994, a worker authorities said was upset about his job assignment killed his supervisor and wounded a coworker at a Chrysler Corp. plant in Sterling Heights.

On Sept. 10, 1994, a worker opened fire with a handgun as a union meeting was breaking up at a Ford complex in Dearborn. Two workers were killed and two injured.

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