'Absolutely heartbroken': 2 dead, 2 injured in shooting at Alabama water distribution plant

Albertville Police Chief Jamie Smith speaks during a news conference at city hall in Albertville, Ala., on Tuesday June 15, 2021. A fatal workplace shooting happened at the Mueller Co. in Albertville early Tuesday morning.

ALBERTVILLE, Ala. – Police say an employee at a water distribution plant opened fire on coworkers early Tuesday, killing two and injuring two before taking his own life.

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

Smith said there is no known familial relation between the Hortons and that they had “no ties” other than working at the same place.

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

The shooter used a handgun to fire an unknown number of rounds at his co-workers before fleeing in a maroon Jeep Cherokee, Smith said. The gunman was later found dead in the vehicle from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head in Guntersville, about 15 miles away from the factory.

Multiple 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 makes water distribution and measurement products, giving the city its nickname, “Fire Hydrant Capital of the World.” 

Albertville Mayor Tracy Honea called Mueller “an integral part of the lifeblood and workforce” of Albertville for almost 50 years and offered her condolences to the families of victims.

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

At least three law enforcement agencies are on the scene this morning at Mueller in Albertville.

“Our entire focus is on the health and well-being of our colleagues, and we are committed to providing any and all support to them and their families,” Mueller Co. said in a statement.

Mueller employee Cody Windsor said he was 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 may have motivated the shooting.

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