Five workers died at the scene, including Brown, while a sixth worker died the next day. The dead were identified as Lonnie Ellingburg, Travis Nelson, Leonardo Rodriguez and Ardell L. Edwards, all of Kansas City, and an unidentified Mexican citizen. ConAgra employees Juan Ramirez and Victor Coggs were injured. Three of the dead workers were part of an extended family, and another family member told the Associated Press that Brown had a disagreement with one of them.
Police, who are still trying to determine a motive, described Brown, 21, of Kansas City, Kansas, as a "disgruntled employee." Coworkers told police Brown had been laid off for several months before being called back approximately six weeks before the shooting. The shooting occurred shortly after a 4:30 p.m. meeting for employees, which Brown attended.
Some local news reports had Brown shouting obscenities while he singled out certain coworkers and shot them, and police say the shootings did not appear to be random. The Associated Press reported Brown walked past some coworkers, saying, "You haven't done anything to me, so you can go."
"This person acted with purpose, he knew exactly what he was doing," Police Chief Ron Miller said.
Police said approximately 160 workers were at the meat-packing facility at the time of the shooting. ConAgra has made grief counselors available to employees on-site, and the company has provided employees and their families with a 1-800 telephone number that offers 24-hours-a-day assistance.
Workers who came in July 6 for the 7 a.m. shift were taken to a large tent where company officials held a memorial for the slain workers and offered their condolences. "Our hearts go out to the victims, their families and the employees at the plant, and we're going to do everything we can to help them get through the situation," said Bruce Rohde, chairman and CEO, ConAgra Foods.