Springfield Police Chief Kenny Winslow said Friday the investigation into the shooting June 26 has yielded little information that points to why the gunman killed three co-workers at the plant on Stevenson Drive before fatally shooting himself later. But he reiterated that the victims were likely targeted based on the suspect’s actions.
Winslow says dozens of interviews with family, friends and other employees of the suspect Michael Collins, 48, has not resulted in concrete evidence of a motive.
He said Collins began work that day at 7 a.m. He took a break around 9:30 a.m. and was known to go to his vehicle to smoke. When he re-entered, Winslow said two guns Collins used in the shooting had to be with him. He returned to his work station. At approximately 11:00 a.m., the first shots were fired.
Within moments, Christopher Aumiller, 25, and William “Bill” Gibbons, 61, were dead.
Winslow said Collins was methodical.
“The suspect walked past several other employees and walked to the workstation of Mr. Aumiller, killing him first. He then walked to the adjacent workstation of Mr. Gibbons and shot him at close range. He possessed two firearms that day, with extra ammunition and extra magazines, but did not utilize them,” Winslow added.
Another victim, Marcia Strumpher, 54, had fled to the parking lot and is believed to be among the first to notify police about was happening. Winslow said Collins, who had walked out with other employees in the confusion, headed for his truck, but went back to shoot Strumpher. She died at a hospital the next day.
Collins then left and was discovered nearly two hours later parked along a rural road in Morgan County, dead of a self-inflicted gunshot.
Winslow said police searched two homes associated with Collins. But efforts to get medical records have been blocked. Toxicology results from his autopsy showed he had taken painkillers and was also found to have medication to treat depression and anxiety in his system.
His personnel file shows he worked at Bunn-O-Matic for 22 years. While he had some infractions, Winslow said there was nothing recent.
“We know the who, the where, the when, the how, but not the why,” Winslow said. “And I hope someday we’re able to provide that. But at this time, we just can’t.”
One key piece of evidence still missing is Collins’ cell phone. Authorities have made a plea for anyone who finds it to contact them.
Winslow also said the lack of closure in the case continues to haunt family and friends and the community. At times emotional during his comments, the chief admitted it has been difficult on everyone associated with the case, including himself. As for where the investigation goes next, he said barring new revelations, the case may be nearing an end, although it would remain open.
“I wish we had more,” he said. Speaking to family members who attended his news conference, Winslow added “I promise you, on my life, we will do the best we can to bring you the answers you deserve.”