Specific motive still unclear in murder-suicide at Cummins facility

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SEYMOUR, Ind. (Mar. 11, 2016)-- Investigators are still looking into why a man shot and killed his boss and then turned the gun on himself at the Cummins Technical Center on Thursday morning.

Police said the shooter, 37-year-old Qing Chen was in the United States from China on a five-year work Visa and had worked for Cummins for at least two years.

Investigators spent Friday processing roughly six 911 calls, currently being considered evidence. Police declined to release a specific motive, calling it a Cummins personnel issue.

Police said Chen shot his boss, 49-year-old Ward Edwards multiple times before taking his own life inside a small meeting room on the second floor of the facility.

Investigators found four guns in Chen’s Seymour apartment. They said he killed Edwards with a 9 mm Glock and had a carry permit but aren’t sure how he got the weapon into the building, because Cummins does not allow firearms.

Police said Chen appeared to live alone in Indiana.

Friday afternoon, Seymour Police would only say Chen and Edwards had a supervisor and employee relationship and wouldn’t go into detail.

It also remained unclear whether threats had ever been exchanged within the two.

“Usually one incident by itself, people may ignore or not think about, but it’s usually things that add up over time,” said Kimble Richardson, a licensed mental health counselor with Community Health.

Richardson said with workplace violence there can be overt warning signs, but they can be subtle, too.

Although we don’t know a specific motive in the case, Richardson said there are usually many elements that contribute to such a terrifying act.

“Normally when someone has a very drastic reaction in the workplace, what we find looking back is that it’s not just the thing that happened. Typically, it’s things leading up to it, this person’s had a history of potential conflicts or work conflicts,” he said.

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