Eastern Ill. employee shoots boss, kills self

Published: Friday, Dec. 27, 2013 11:34 a.m. CDT

WESTVILLE (AP) — Authorities are trying to piece together what prompted a longtime eastern Illinois chemical plant employee to shoot his company's CEO during a job review before turning the gun on himself.

"All we know is something went wrong in the performance evaluation," said Vermilion County Sheriff Pat Hartshorn.

Thursday afternoon's shooting took place at DynaChem, a small, privately held industrial chemical maker about 30 miles from Champaign.

Hartshorn said DynaChem president and CEO Keith Rife was hospitalized in Urbana with gunshot wounds to his head and hip. His injuries aren't considered life-threatening.

Vermilion County Coroner Peggy Johnson identified the shooter as Wayne Woodson, 65, from nearby Georgetown. He was pronounced dead at the scene and an autopsy is expected Friday.

Investigators say Woodson worked for DynaChem for more than two decades. The (Champaign) News-Gazette said he was a chemist at the company.

Authorities say the attack happened behind closed doors in Rife's office after Woodson pulled a handgun from a briefcase. Hartshorn said Rife was able to leave his office after the shooting to ask other employees for help.

DynaChem has about 50 employees.

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