A disgruntled worker fired from a Nebraska agricultural facility returned to his jobsite and shot three people — killing two before he was gunned down by another employee, authorities said.
Max Hoskinson, 61, died at a hospital Thursday following the shooting at Agrex Elevator in Superior, where he had been terminated earlier in the day, the Nebraska State Patrol said.
Armed with a handgun, Hoskinson returned to the facility at about 2 p.m. and started firing, striking three people. Another employee then grabbed a shotgun from an office and returned fire, wounding Hoskinson.
One of the victims shot by the fired Hoskinson died at the scene. A second victim later died at a hospital, while a third person wounded was treated and released, according to the Nebraska State Patrol.
Authorities had responded to a report of an active shooter at Agrex. None of the victims were immediately identified.
The workplace shooting left many residents in the town of 1,600 searching for answers, as well as the state’s governor.
“The news of the attack on Agrex Elevator in Superior is shocking and devastating,” Gov. Pete Ricketts tweeted. “Susanne and I are praying for the victims of the attack.”
Superior Mayor Chris Peterson told the Omaha World-Herald “everybody is kind of in shock” in the wake of Thursday’s shooting spree.
“But we will pull through this,” Peterson said. “It’s what small towns do. People help each other.”
Bill Blauvelt, publisher of the Superior Express newspaper, told the World-Herald Hoskinson was the chief grain merchandiser at Agrex. A female employee who worked as a merchandiser for Hoskinson died at the scene. Both had been employed by Agrex for several years, Blauvelt said.
The employee who shot Hoskinson was not wounded, the Lincoln Journal-Star reported. It’s unclear when the facility, which was shut down for the rest of the day Thursday, will reopen, according to the newspaper.
Agrex, a Kansas-based firm that operates grain elevators in four states, released a short statement on its website regarding the “violent incident” at its facility.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with our coworkers and their families affected by this incident,” company officials said. “At this time, the incident is being investigated and therefore we are not able to offer any further comments.”