A man stormed into a fiber optics plant Wednesday and opened fire with a handgun, killing two former co-workers and wounding two others. The gunman later killed himself, authorities said.
"We looked out over the plant floor--we saw people just running at random. And it was just a pop, pop, pop. We never did see the guy," Sid Gregory, an employee at Sumitomo Electric Fiber Optics Corp., told WRAL-TV.
Authorities evacuated the building after the morning shooting and spent more than six hours searching the grounds of the Japanese-owned plant before finding the gunman's body behind cabinets on the top floor.
The gunman, identified as Ladislav Antalik, killed himself, said Chief Deputy Walter L. Lawrence of the Durham County Sheriff's Department.
The shooting happened in the fiber optics inspection division just before 8 a.m., while hundreds of employees were in the plant.
"When I heard the first shot, that's when I looked up, and I saw the guy with the gun in his hand and running, and I said 'Oh my God, he's going to shoot everybody in here' and I just took off running," Patricia Cardinez told the TV station.
Gunned down at point-blank range were Antalik's former supervisor and a woman who had filed a sexual harassment complaint against him, said Bob Martin, an independent contract writer who was working at Sumitomo on Wednesday.
Police would not confirm his account. The names of the dead were not immediately released.
Antalik had worked for Litespec Inc., based at the Sumitomo plant, for more than two years before quitting in August.
"He resigned on his own because he had some personal grievances with some other employees, that is his co-workers," said Basant Tariyal, chief executive officer of Litespec.
He declined to detail the nature of the disagreements.
Tariyal said he did not know how Antalik got past security guards posted at the plant's main gate and locked doors.
"That's a mystery," he said. "We normally take badges that would allow access into the building."