Local News

Argument Takes Deadly Turn At Wilson Plant

Posted June 21, 1999

— An argument at a Wilson factory left one man dead and another in jail Tuesday morning. Just after 6:30 a.m., about 10 people witnessed the shooting at Supreme Murphy on Airport Drive.

The group of employees closest to the victim were working just feet away when, they say, the gunman opened fire with a handgun in the assembly line area.

Police say 41-year-old Manuel Castillo fired four to eight shots at 24-year-old Rigoberto Hernandez then left him for dead on the factory floor.

Workers say that Hernandez had been dating Castillo's wife, who also worked there. Witnesses also say Castillo called in sick Tuesday morning, but came to work anyway.

As many as 40 people heard the shots and fled the building wondering if they would be next.

Police say they are glad no one else was hurt. They also acknowledge that the uninjured will still need some recovery time.

"They're disturbed by what happened," says Wilson Police Lt. Carlton Turnage. "It's the first time they've been exposed to something like this."

Management decided to let the employees go home for the day so police could finish their investigation.

The company plans to have counselors on hand for employees Wednesday.

The suspect is behind bars. He was caught about two miles away from the plant in his car.

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