Sanderson Farms employee shoots co-worker, self

An employee at the Sanderson Farms poultry plant in Collins, Mississippi, was hospitalized after being shot in the back by a co-worker on January 22.

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Keith Syvinski, Freeimages.com
Keith Syvinski, Freeimages.com

An employee at the Sanderson Farms poultry plant in Collins, Mississippi, was hospitalized after being shot in the back by a co-worker on January 22. The suspect in the shooting later died as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Shortly after 4 p.m., the Collins Police Department (CPD) received a call, in which it was reported that there was an active shooter at the Sanderson Farms facility. Upon arrival, officers found the victim, but the suspect had already fled the scene, Collins Police Chief Joey Ponder told WATT Global Media.

The victim, whose name has not yet been released, was given medical attention while still at the plant. He was stabilized and flown to an area hospital, while CPD officers secured the facility and placed it on lockdown, Ponder said. Officers were at the plant for roughly two hours.

As of 11 a.m. the following morning, the suspect was listed in critical condition at the hospital, Ponder said.

About eight hours after the poultry plant shooting incident took place, officers located the suspect, who has been identified as Darrin Jones, 41, Collins. Jones was in his vehicle in a remote area north of Collins. Officers initiated contact and a standoff followed that eventually ended with Jones apparently taking his own life, according to Ponder. No officer injuries resulted.

Ponder said it appears the initial incident occurred as a result of a personal disagreement between the two employees. The shooting at the plant is being investigated by the CPD, while the incident that resulted in the death of Jones is being investigated by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation.

“It’s one of those things that you just don’t want to happen. I’m glad nobody else was hurt, but I feel so sorry for the victim and the suspect, too,” Ponder said.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the men involved, their families and their friends," Sanderson Farms Chief Financial Officer Mike Cockrell said in an email. "We are grateful to the first responders, most especially the men and women of the Collins, Mississippi, Police Department for their help."

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