|Robert Kenneth Smith|
The Chrysler stamping plant in Twinsburg, where the shooting occurred, in 1964.
|Born|| September 22, 1937|
|Cause of death||Suicide|
|Date|| May 15, 1969|
11:30 p.m. – 11:45 p.m.
|Location(s)||Twinsburg, Ohio, United States|
|Weapon(s)|| .38-caliber semi-automatic pistol |
Two .22-caliber semi-automatic pistols
Robert Kenneth Smith was an American auto factory worker who killed two people and wounded ten others, four of them seriously, at the Chrysler stamping plant in Twinsburg, Ohio, United States on May 15, 1969, before committing suicide.
Smith, who was born on September 22, 1937, was married and had three children. In 1964 he was committed to the Youngstown Woodside Hospital, because of mental problems, and after his release remained under the care of a psychiatrist until his death. According to his wife Marylou he was always even tempered and a good husband and father, but also someone who was secretive with his thoughts and feelings. He reportedly was a heavy gambler and had family problems.
Smith lived in Mogadore and worked as a production inspector at the Chrysler stamping plant in Twinsburg, though at the time of the shooting the company was apparently garnisheeing his wages for undisclosed reasons.
According to most reports Smith was scheduled to work from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. on May 15, 1969, but informed the company that he would not come to work that day, though others stated that he had been fired the day before. Around 10 p.m. he left his home, armed with a .38-caliber semi-automatic pistol, two .22-caliber semi-automatic pistols, and several hundred rounds of ammuntion. At 11 p.m. he arrived at the plant, where 1800 people were working at the time, and entered on the pretence of collecting his paycheck.
Some time before 11:30 p.m. Smith approached the main entrance of the plant with a gun in each hand and shot two men outside, before making his way to the nearby lunchroom. There he walked up to Sam Zucchero sitting at a table and fatally shot him in the back. The bullet passed through Zucchero's body and also wounded Charles Harris in the hand. After firing three or four more rounds Smith continued shooting at the offices and a production line where he hit amongst others Frederick Whisner, as well as Vincent Bell, who died an hour after admission to hospital. About 15 minutes into the rampage police arrived at the scene, whereupon Smith committed suicide near a machine by shooting himself in the temple. Harry Anderson and Willie Webster, two of the ten people wounded in the attack, were taken to hospital in critical condition, while two others were seriously injured.
- Vincent Bell, 39
- Sam J. Zucchero, 57
Those wounded were:
- Harry Anderson, 28
- Fred Brandt, 22, shot in the back
- Charles L. Harris, 64, shot in the hand
- Albert Lazzari, 57, shot in the chest
- Howard Musolf, 57, shot in the abdomen
- George F. Russell, 50, shot in the right ear
- John Steidl, 53, shot in the side
- Dean Warner, 43, shot in both hands
- Willie Webster, 57
- Frederick Whisner, 38, shot in the left thigh
- ↑ Worker slays two, then kills himself, The New York Times (May 17, 1969)
- ↑ Man on gun spree kills 2, then self, The Portsmouth Times (May 16, 1969)
- ↑ Three dead, 10 wounded in Chrysler shootings, The Owosso Argus-Press (May 16, 1969)
- ↑ Man kills 2, slays self, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (May 17, 1969)
- ↑ Death weapons, The Tuscaloosa News (May 29, 1969)
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Workman kills two, then self, Youngstown Vindicator (May 16, 1969)
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Two victims of Ohio shooting still critical, Observer-Reporter (May 17, 1969)
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Twinsburg killings are mystery, Uniontown Morning Herald (May 17, 1969)
- ↑ Death and terror visit plant, Beaver County Times (May 16, 1969)
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Twinsburg Stamping Plant: From bright beginning to bleak ending, cleveland.com (July 18, 2010)
- ↑ Berserk man kills 2, self, Toledo Blade (May 16, 1969)
- ↑ Two killed in Ohio gun spree, The Bulletin (May 16, 1969)
- ↑ Berserk worker kills two, self and wounds 10 others, The Bryan Times (May 16, 1969)
- ↑ Man kills 2, wounds 10 then turns gun on self, The Norwalk Hour (May 16, 1969)
- ↑ Guard kills co-workers and himself, The Times-News (May 16, 1969)
- ↑ 'He just started shooting us', The Zanesville Times Recorder (May 17, 1969)
- Berserk man kills 2, wounds 10 in shooting in Twinsburg, Ohio, Union-Sun Journal (May 16, 1969)
- Mn goes berserk, kills two before shooting slef to death, The Kingston Daily Freeman (May 16, 1969)
- Employe goes berserk, kills 2, wounds 10, before shooting himself, The Leader-Herald (May 16, 1969)
- Killer's weapons, Courier-Express (May 17, 1969)
- 'Quiet guy' gunman kills himself, two others in auto plants shootings, The Dominion News (May 17, 1969)