The suspect in a deadly workplace shooting at a Conyers manufacturing facility was taken into custody Friday in Alabama.
Cameron Golden, 18, was located at a Greyhound bus station in Birmingham within hours of the early morning shooting at the Dart Container Corp., Rockdale County Sheriff Eric Levett said. The victim was identified as 42-year-old Dart employee Taurus Andrews.
Golden, who recently relocated from Arkansas, was a temporary employee, Levett said. The motive behind the shooting remains unknown.
“We don’t know why Mr. Golden began firing inside of Dart Container,” the sheriff said. “That is still an active investigation ... We don’t have a whole lot of answers at this time.”
Employees at the food service manufacturing plant called 911 shortly before 7 a.m. after hearing a series of gunshots. Responding deputies arrived within minutes. They thought they were walking into an active shooter situation, Levett said.
Deputies worked simultaneously to evacuate the building while looking for a shooter and any victims. Andrews was found lying on the ground and was immediately taken to a hospital, where he died.
Andrews joined Dart in June 2018 as a utility worker, according to the company. His grandmother said he worked the overnight shift and got off at 7 a.m.
“As we were learning some details, we determined that it was not actually an active shooter,” Levett said. “We determined it to be an act of workplace violence.”
The gunman was thought to have run out of the building in the chaos.
Sheriff’s deputies, Conyers police officers and state troopers set up a perimeter along Ga. 138 to search for the man. Authorities were blocking multiple entrances to the facility with their vehicles, sirens flashing in the cold, pouring rain. Investigators came and went from white tents set up near a security gate.
A school bus was brought in at 8:15 a.m. to transport personnel off the property. About 300 employees work at the Conyers Dart plant, which makes food and beverage packaging products.
“Our Conyers coworkers are part of our Dart family, and we offer them our condolences for the loss of their coworker and compassion as they process this heartbreaking incident,” a company spokesman said in a statement. “We are grateful for the management team at Conyers, who ensured the safe evacuation of our employees and worked closely with law enforcement agencies.”
The facility will remain closed until further notice, the spokesman said.
The victim’s grandmother said he had never mentioned having any issues with someone at work.
While some deputies assembled in nearby Pine Log Park, others guarded entrances to C.J. Hicks Elementary and Rockdale High. Both schools, along with Rockdale Magnet School and the Rockdale County Public Schools transportation office, were placed on lockdown as a precaution.
All students and staff are safe, the school district said in a tweet. The lockdowns were lifted about 12:15 p.m., and schools were cleared to return to normal operations, according to the district.
UPDATE: All schools have been cleared to return to normal operations.— Rockdale Co. Schools (@RockdaleSchools) December 13, 2019
(Todas las escuelas han sido autorizadas para volver a las operaciones normales) pic.twitter.com/LhK5PFBBDy
After speaking with employees, Golden was identified as a person of interest in the case, Levett said. The sheriff is sending two investigators to Alabama to speak to Golden and bring him back to Rockdale County to face a murder charge.