A man walked into a North St. Louis factory with an assault rifle and shot at least five people early Thursday morning, St. Louis police officials said.
A spokesman for the city’s fire department, Bob Keuss, told the Associated Press that one person was killed and four others were wounded in the incident, two of them critically.
As of late morning, the gunman was still be at large. Authorities believed he was still in the building, Mr. Keuss told the news agency.
According to local media reports, the gunman fired at least one shot in the parking lot and then entered the plant, opening fire around 6:30 a.m. Central time and sending employees racing for cover.
Later in the morning, according to local television reports, police entered the building and began escorting employees outside to safety. A portion of Interstate 70 near the plant, which is owned by the Swiss-based multinational company ABB, was closed as police set up a protective perimeter.
“We have received reports of a shooting at our St. Louis facility this morning,” an ABB spokesman, Bob Feshmire, said in an e-mail message to reporters. “Information has been difficult to confirm. This is obviously a very serious situation and we are working to gather more information as it becomes available.”
According to KMOV-TV in St. Louis, the shooting occurred during a shift change, when there would have been about 100 employees on duty. The plant makes electrical transformers.