Workplace Violence

On Wednesday, January 26, 2005, 54-year-old Myles Meyers walked into DaimlerChrysler’s Toledo, Ohio, Assembly plant holding a double-barreled shotgun under his coat. Myers, a Jeep repairman, approached Yiesha Martin, a 27-year-old stock supervisor and stated his intentions. He was there to murder three supervisors: Mike Toney, 45, Roy Thacker, 50, and Carrie Woggerman, 24. Afterwards, he said, he would turn the gun on himself. “I was shaking and I started to cry,” said Martin. Meyers told her not to cry and to page Toney. Although he was usually eating lunch at his desk around this time, Toney was busy dealing with a problem on the production line. On Martin’s second attempt, Toney responded.
Thacker, however, was the first of Meyer’s intended victims to approach the former employee. When Thacker asked Meyers why he was at the office, “[Meyers] turned from the partition and just shot him,” Martin recalled. “I just saw the shells go. He reloaded in front of me.” Martin ran, grabbing a radio in the process. As she ran away, calling into her radio for help, she heard another gunshot. Mike Toney had just arrived and was now the second victim. Carrie Woggerman was able to flee after the first shot, but Paul Medlen, 41, while attempting to come to the aid of Toney, was shot in the chest by Meyers just before Meyers turned the gun on himself, taking his own life. Of the three employees shot by Meyers, two survived. Unfortunately, Thacker died from his wounds.
Regrettably, the shooting at the Toledo Assembly plant was not an isolated incident. Just two years earlier, Doug Williams, an employee at Lockheed Martin, left in the middle of an ethics meeting, went to his car, and came back with several guns. He then shot six coworkers to death and wounded eight others before committing suicide. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 18,104 assaults and 609 homicides occurred at workplaces throughout the United States in 2002. Such violence prompted the Centers for...