A gunman in camouflage killed a former co-worker inside a Wisconsin factory early Monday, then committed suicide as officers searched the sprawling building, police said.
Police identified the shooter as Shadow Yang, 40, and the victim as Christina Wollenzien, 29. Both lived in Sheboygan.
Wollenzien was an assembly line worker in Rockline Industries’ coffee filter division and had worked in the same area as Yang until about a year ago, a company official said.
She was on the job Monday when she was shot to death around 4:30 a.m., police Lt. Michael Williams said. Her attacker fired one shot, hitting her in the stomach, then, when she tried to get away, he shot her in the head, said Kirk Engholt, vice president of human resources for Rockline.
As many as 130 other employees were in the factory near downtown Sheboygan at the time and quickly evacuated as officers cordoned off the area. About 20 tactical team officers searched the block-long building before finding Yang’s body; police said he had shot himself.
Police would not comment early Monday afternoon on whether Yang appeared to have specifically targeted Wollenzien.
Yang had quit his job in October, after working there as a materials handler for about five years, Engholt said. The only blemish on his work record was one unexcused absence, he said.
“No problems, no complaints,” Engholt said. “That’s why we’re mystified by what happened here.”
Yang drove a forklift and would have come into contact with Wollenzien occasionally, Engholt said. Wollenzien had worked at the plant about nine years, he said. Her mother also worked there, although on a different shift.
'Everybody is baffled'
Wollenzien’s sister, April Heinecke, 25, huddled in the drizzle with about a dozen others outside the plant Monday afternoon. Her mother, who did not work Monday, called her with news of the shooting.
“She is someone we loved very much, she will be very much missed,” the sister said.
Heinecke said her sister had no relationship with Yang other than as co-workers and she didn’t know of anything he could have had against her.
“That’s why everybody is baffled,” she said.
About 45 minutes before the shooting, firefighters were called to a fire at Yang’s duplex apartment, Williams said. The fire was intentionally set, he said.
It was minor, brought quickly under control and caused mostly smoke damage in the duplex’s upper unit, said Daniel Pitsch, a shift commander for the Sheboygan Fire Department.
Before Monday, police said, the only contact they had with Yang was issuing him a citation for unsafe parking.
Rockline Industries, a family-owned company headquartered in Sheboygan, makes items including coffee filters and baby wipes. It does business in more than 50 countries and has more than 1,800 employees worldwide.