Springfield Police Chief Kenny Winslow said Wednesday authorities have yet to determine why an employee shot and killed three co-workers last week at a Springfield manufacturer.
Winslow, holding his first availability with reporters since the day of the incident, offered a few new details. But he said conversations with witnesses, co-workers, friends and family of the suspect have yet to shed light on his actions.
“We kind of know the who, what, when, where and how. We’re missing the why,” he said. “We’re trying to make sense of a senseless situation. And we’re trying to do that in an effort to provide those answers to the victim’s family and the public.”
Investigators have determined Michael Collins of Springfield, 48, entered the facility where he worked on Stevenson Drive just after 11 a.m. Friday June 26. He approached two co-workers, William “Bill” Gibbons of Springfield, 61, and Christopher Aumiller of Springfield, 25, shooting them both. They died at the scene.
Winslow said Collins then went into the parking lot and shot another employee Marsha Strumpher of Springfield, 54, who died at a hospital the next day.
Collins carried two handguns inside, and used one to kill both men. Strumpher was shot with the second gun. Thirteen shell casings were found on site.
Winslow said Collins then fled the scene and was discovered at 1:20 p.m. by a sheriff’s deputy on a rural road in Morgan County. He was dead inside his vehicle from what is believed to be a self-inflicted gunshot. The two 9 millimeter handguns were also found there. Collins had a valid FOID card.
The Chief also said there are many rumors in the community about what led to the shooting. He cautioned against spreading rumors out of respect for the families of those killed. But he addressed one regarding Collins’ employment status. He said the Collins, who reported for work at 7 a.m. Friday, had not been let go from the company.
“Once we get the results of anything significant, then we’ll put that out. At this time, we are following up with multiple people, trying to track down multiple leads and trying to establish what that motive was,” Winslow said. But after days of work, he also mentioned “we may not be able to do so.”
Winslow added he did not expect another briefing this week unless more information is discovered.
An estimated 175 people were at the facility when the shooting occurred.
Bunn-O-Matic manufactures beverage equipment, like coffee makers. It remains privately held and family owned. Hy Bunn, representing the company, said in the hours after the incident it was the "saddest possible day" for Bunn-O-Matic.
In the days after, memorials were left at the entrance to the Bunn-O-Matic property and a candlelight vigil was held at a local park.