PAOLI, Ind. – A dispute between co-workers at a southern Indiana auto body shop Wednesday escalated into a shooting that left one employee dead from a self-inflicted injury and the other wounded, police said.
Michael Dale Kilpatrick, 48, of North Carolina, died from a gunshot to his head, Indiana State Police Sgt. Phillip Hensley said.
Kieth Wagner, 30, of Bedford, Indiana, was airlifted to the University of Louisville Hospital in Kentucky, where he was being treated for gunshot wounds to his abdomen and neck. Hensley said Wagner was conscious at the scene and it appeared he could survive his injuries.
The altercation began with Kilpatrick and Wagner arguing in a driveway outside Classic Muscle Cars and Parts, located along State Road 37 north of Paoli, located about 45 miles northwest of Louisville, Hensley said.
The argument escalated into a fight, and Kilpatrick and Wagner began wrestling in the driveway. A short time later, Wagner ran from the fight and locked himself inside a building, the officer said.
Kilpatrick followed Wagner to the building and began beating on a window. Fearing that Kilpatrick was going to break out the glass, Wagner unlocked the door and let Kilpatrick and a witness inside, Hensely said. Once inside, Kilpatrick shot Wagner at point-blank range with a semi-automatic handgun.
The suspect "tried to shoot at the witness and missed, goes behind the property, fires off a couple more rounds, goes to end of the property to the tree line and at that point, took his own life," Hensley said.
Orange County sheriff's deputies and state troopers were chasing Kilpatrick when the man took his life, Hensley said.
Kilpatrick was a temporary worker, Hensley said. It was not immediately clear what city in North Carolina he was from.
"I believe the suspect in the case had only been here for two weeks and wasn't going to be working here beyond the weekend and conflict just kind of stemmed from that," the officer said.