Chrysler Group LLC, the automaker controlled by Fiat SpA, suspended production at a Detroit plant that builds sport-utility vehicles after an employee was fatally stabbed today inside the factory.
Output at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant resumes tomorrow, Scott Garberding, Chrysler’s senior vice president of manufacturing, said during a press conference at the factory. The plant makes Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango SUVs.
“Chrysler is deeply saddened by the events that occurred at Jefferson North this morning,” he said. “This is a tragic incident, and our hearts go out to all the families involved.”
Two hourly workers were involved in a fight inside the plant at about 7:50 a.m., Garberding said. The stabbed employee was pronounced dead at the scene, and the second worker left the building, he said. Chrysler won’t identify the employees and is working with the Detroit Police Department to investigate the incident, Garberding said.
The stabbing suspect’s body was found with a gunshot wound at about 10:30 a.m. in a park about 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) south of the plant, in what apparently was a suicide, Phillip Cook, a police spokesman, said in a telephone interview.
First-shift employees were released at about 10 a.m., Garberding said. The Auburn Hills, Michigan-based company has grief counselors at the plant to support its workers, he said.
Jefferson North was one of four Chrysler factories that skipped normally scheduled two-week midyear shutdowns earlier in 2012 to meet increased demand. Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne said in April that the plant will add 1,100 jobs and a third crew of workers in November, pulling ahead plans for increasing production in early 2013.