PINE BLUFF — One female worker was killed and another arrested Monday in a shooting at a Pine Bluff plant that makes parts for transformers, police said.
Latange Long, 34, was pronounced dead at 10:58 a.m. after the shooting at the Central Moloney plant in the Jefferson Industrial Park, according to Jefferson County Coroner Chad Kelley.
Authorities said Lillie Footes-Wilson, 49, was arrested without incident. She was being held Monday at the Jefferson County Detention Center.
"An employee-on-employee incident occurred at our components plant this morning that involved a gun," said Chris Hart, Central Moloney’s vice president for personnel and community relations. "There was an altercation between the two of them this morning which resulted in a death."
Both women worked as press operators at the plant, Hart said.
"They worked in the same general area of the plant. The deceased has been with the company for eight years and the suspect has been here longer than that," he said.
Police did not immediately release a possible motive for the shooting. The shooting was still under investigation Monday afternoon, police Lt. JoAnn Bates said.
Kelley said the cause of death was apparent gunshot wounds to the upper body. Long’s body was sent to the state Crime Lab for an autopsy, he said.
Police Sgt. Derric Neal, who was the first officer on the scene, said in a report he found Long face down "in a pool of blood unresponsive. Paramedics arrived along with first responders and advised they had no vital signs."
Neal said a manager at the plant approached him holding the weapon apparently used in the shooting and he told the manager to put the gun on the ground near shell casings which were present at the scene until detectives arrived.
The report did not indicate the type of weapon recovered inside the plant.
Wilson was reportedly secured in a room at the plant until officers arrived, Neal said in his report.
Hart said about 75 employees who were on the job when the shooting occurred were sent home with pay following interviews with police officers.
"We didn’t even ask them to clock out," Hart said. "After they finished speaking with the police we let them go home. We have also canceled second shift because we don’t need to worry about building components right now. There is no way to make this better but we can try to make it less complicated for our folks."
Signs outside the plant indicate that weapons are not allowed at the facility. Hart said there were no immediate plans for additional security measures in the wake of the shooting.
"What can we do?" Hart asked. "These were two active employees, neither of whom were under any suspicion of wrong-doing or under any disciplinary actions. I don’t know what we could do and should do as far as security goes."
Hart said Central Moloney has several volunteer chaplains on site available to speak with employees in need of counseling.
The slaying was the 14th of the year in Jefferson County and the 13th inside the Pine Bluff city limits.
By Michael S. Lee and Ray King write for the Pine Bluff Commercial