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Archive for Friday, August 18, 2006

Families of ConAgra rampage victims sue security company

August 18, 2006

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— Relatives of three victims of a deadly shooting rampage two years ago at a food processing plant have filed wrongful death lawsuits against a security company.

The lawsuits claim that First Response of Mission did not provide adequate protection at the ConAgra Foods Inc. plant, where a man killed five co-workers and wounded two more in a 10-minute rampage before killing himself.

Police said Elijah Brown, 21, launched the July 2, 2004, killing spree because he was upset over being teased by co-workers.

Investigators have said he took two handguns from a ConAgra locker, entered an employee break room during dinner and opened fire, deliberately choosing his targets before turning his gun on himself.

The lawsuits were filed by the relatives of Are Dell Edwards, 55, of Grandview, Mo.; and Travis Nelson, 23, and Lonnie E. Ellingburg, 46, both of Kansas City, Kan. All three were related.

The lawsuits were first filed June 20 in Wyandotte County District Court. The one filed by Edwards' widow, Audrey, was moved Aug. 11 to U.S. District Court.

Another was filed by Nelson's mother, Betty Nelson-Reed. Plaintiffs in the third are Ellingburg's widow, Sandra Ellingburg; his daughter, Michelle Ellingburg; and two grandchildren, Daja M. Bresette and Joneysa A. Bass, all of Kansas City, Kan.

All three lawsuits seek damages in excess of $75,000.

Attorney John M. Waldeck, representing First Response, said the company had only been served with Nelson's lawsuit. He said Wednesday that he could not comment on any of the actions because he had just received copies of them.

Also killed were Leonardo Rodriguez, 49, of Kansas City, Kan., and Jose Ibarra, 45, of Mexico.

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