ALBERTVILLE, Alabama – Police say a an employee of a water distribution plant opened fire on colleagues early Tuesday, killing two people and injuring two before committing suicide.

Michael Lee Dobbins and David Lee Horton, both of Boaz, Ala., Died in the Mueller Co. shooting at around 2:30 a.m., Albertville Police Chief Jamie Smith said. The shooter was later identified as Andreas Deon Horton, 34, from Dekalb County.

Smith said there was no known family relationship between the Hortons and that they had “no connection” other than working in the same location.

The two injured employees were taken to a hospital in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The police have not determined a motive.

The shooter used a handgun to fire an unknown number of shots at his colleagues before escaping in a brown Jeep Cherokee, Smith said. The gunman was later found dead in the vehicle from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head in Guntersville, about 15 miles from the factory.

Several weapons were recovered from the vehicle, Smith said.

Albertville, in northern Alabama, is the largest city in Marshall County, about 60 miles northeast of Birmingham. More than 400 people work at the Mueller Co. plant, which manufactures water distribution and metering products, giving the city its nickname “the hydrant capital of the world.”

Albertville Mayor Tracy Honea called Mueller “an integral part of the life force and workforce” of Albertville for nearly 50 years and offered his condolences to the families of the victims.

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

“We are completely focused on the health and well-being of our colleagues, and we are committed to providing all the necessary support to them and their families,” Mueller Co. said in a statement.

Mueller employee Cody Windsor said he was at home at the time of the shooting, but knew the shooter and one of the victims, David Horton. He said he didn’t know what might have motivated the shooting.

Windsor said David Horton was a foundry assistant who could do almost any job at the plant. Windsor remembered David Horton as being calm, but said they often hung out together during lunch breaks and sat in their cars to listen to music.

“We work together and we unite,” Windsor said. “We are here as much as we are at home.”

Allen Horton Jr. told AL.com that he was in shock after learning that his uncle, David Horton, had passed away.

“I don’t know how to take it,” he told the website.

Ann Walters, Dobbins’ grandmother, told AL.com that his grandson had worked at Mueller for about 10 months and was the father of a 2-year-old daughter. Walters said he was saving to buy a house and a car for his girlfriend.

“He was a perfect gentleman, anyone will tell you that,” Walters told the website. “He was good to everyone and put his family first.”

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

Contribution: The Associated Press

Contact Gadsden Times reporter Donna Thornton at donna.thornton@gadsdentimes.com.

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