Detectives are meeting with the staff at the Cummins plant in Seymour Friday as they continue to investigate what caused an employee to fatally shoot his supervisor in a murder-suicide Thursday morning.
The parking lots were empty Friday. The Cummins Seymour facility was completely shut down. While employees were at home grieving, police were working, looking for explanations to Thursday's murder-suicide.
News of violent deaths, Gina Martinez said, hit her like a brick. She was acquainted with both men and felt moved to place peace lilies in front of the building where they worked and died.
"It is a tragic loss, because now there's two kids who don't have a dad, and a wife, they both have families and friends it affects us all," she said, trying not to cry.
Police identify men killed in shooting at Cummins plant in Seymour
Sixteen minutes after 37-year-old Qing Chen arrived at work Thursday morning, patrol officers and SWAT teams were rushing to the Cummins engine plant and technical center. Chen, investigators say, killed his boss, 49-year-old Ward Edwards, then killed himself in a second-floor office.
Chief Bill Abbott said nearly a dozen Seymour police officers are investigating the murder-suicide.
"It's just putting the pieces of the puzzle together," he said.
Abbott explained detectives are examining evidence recovered from the cars of both men. SWAT officers looked over Chen's apartment Thursday as it was searched.
Investigators are also interviewing Cummins officials and examining emails between the two men hoping to find clues to a possible motive.
"Obviously, there was a supervisor-employee relationship between the two," Abbott said. "We don't know as far as if there was ongoing disputes between the two, anything like that at all."
Chen, a native of China and a Georgia Tech grad, joined Cummins a couple of years ago. Edwards and his wife have teenage children - a son and daughter. Their pastor said the Columbus community is rallying around the family with great love.
The technology center and engine plant will be shut down through the weekend. Seven hundred workers will return to their offices and the assembly lines Monday morning.