Ad Spot

Shooter: A history of problems

By Staff
DEADLY WEAPON Maj. Ward Calhoun, left, of the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department, displays the 12-gauge pump shotgun Lockheed Martin employee Doug Williams used in a shooting rampage that left five fellow workers dead and injured nine others. At the same time Wednesday, Sheriff Billy Sollie, right, answers questions about the Tuesday shootings during a news conference at the Raymond P. Davis Courthouse Annex.Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Fredie Carmichael / staff writer
July 10, 2003
The president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics confirmed Wednesday that employee Doug Williams had a recorded history of discipline problems at the Lauderdale County plant.
One incident in December 2001 involved threats that Williams, who was white, made to another employee, who was black. Williams was forced to undergo two weeks of anger management classes.
Hancock discussed Williams' past at Lockheed Martin one day after nationwide speculation began to swirl that Tuesday's shooting spree was a hate crime aimed against blacks.
Williams, who worked at the plant for 19 years, stepped out of an annual required business ethics training class Tuesday morning, returned minutes later and opened fire on co-workers.
Deadly rampage
Williams' rampage left five co-workers dead and nine injured. He then took his own life.
Some co-workers said Williams was a known racist and that they believed the killings were racially motivated. Others said they believed Williams targeted workers he didn't like, not just black employees.
Four of the dead and three of the injured were black.
Just weeks before the shooting, Hancock said Williams was sent home after being involved in another work-related incident.
On June 12, Williams put a white environmentally protective stocking on his head in what Hancock called an apparent hazing of a new employee.
Hancock said Williams refused to take the stocking off his head after another employee complained it was offensive. Hancock said Williams was sent home under a "mutual agreement" with the company for five to six days.
Hancock said that Williams was in a "playful mood" when he described the incident in a later interview with supervisors.
Personnel file
The June 12 incident was not placed in Williams' personnel file, but was relayed to senior management. Hancock said he doesn't know of any other complaints filed against Williams in the past 19 years.
Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie said Lockheed officials had been helpful in releasing all personnel and medical files that the company has on Williams.
Sollie also said his department was working to obtain Williams' medical records from the local health clinic that counseled him in December 2001.