An armed man shot and killed an employee at a manufacturing plant in Lennox, S.D. Thursday afternoon, then shot a second person and assaulted a third before fleeing the Sioux Steel facility, located about 20 miles from Sioux Falls, according to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader.
The gunman, identified by authorities as Jeffrey Dezeeuw, 52, of Sioux Falls, apparently took his own life later in the day. Authorities found what they suspect is the gunman's body near a burned-out semi-tractor a few miles from the plant.
The Sioux Steel worker fatally shot has been identified as Jon Richter, 45, of Lennox. Kathy Steever, 46, also of Lennox, was shot and is in critical condition, while Brian Roesler, 45, of Marion, was the man assaulted.
Sheriff Dennis Johnson told media Friday morning that Richter was the target of the shooting, saying there is believed to have been a dispute between him and the shooter over working conditions.
Watch a replay of the press conference here.
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KELO-TV reports employees of the company were kept in lockdown in an adjacent building for more than two hours after the shooting. A school and nearby businesses were also put on lockdown as the search for the suspect fanned out from the industrial park where the Sioux Steel Pro Tec plant is located.
The suspect apparently was a truck driver who worked for a company that was either associated with, or did contract work, for Sioux Steel, Lennox Police Chief Orville Jorgensen said.
"Obviously, we're early on in this investigation," Lincoln County Sheriff Dennis Johnson told reporters at an early evening news conference."We believe we know right now is that there was a connection to this company, between the suspect and the employees that were shot inside the building."
A statement on the Sioux Steel Facebook page offered condolences.
"Our hearts and prayers go out to our employees, friends, and families of the victims of the tragedy that occurred at our location in Lennox, SD," it read. "We are supporting the Lennox police department and other law enforcement agencies in their pursuit of the perpetrator of this senseless act of violence.