Lawyer alleges DMAX was aware of feud prior to shooting, had non-existent security

A lawyer representing two victims of a shooting at DMAX on Thursday night is claiming the company had non-existent security and was aware of the conflict between workers prior to the incident.

Michael Wright, an attorney for Wright & Schulte LLC, is representing the family of 28-year-old Jeffrey James Allen III, who was killed in the shooting, and Kelly Suber Jr., who was injured.

Wright said he is investigating security at the Moraine plant, but it’s not clear if a lawsuit will be filed.

“Sadly these types of occurrences and shootings aren’t rare,” Wright said.

He said it is DMAX’s responsibility to enact security measures to protect workers.

Wright has been in communication with workers and said it appears DMAX management was aware of a dispute between two male workers and a female worker. He said the woman the feud was over previously had to be escorted out of the plant to her car due to threats.

Wright also alleged that no one checked bags and employees could bring whatever they wanted onto the floor. He added it’s not clear if DMAX has its own security or if it uses a third party.

DMAX is a joint venture between General Motors and Isuzu Motors. General Motors said Wednesday it does not allow firearms on its property.

“The DMAX-Moraine facility has security on-site 24x7, similar to all GM manufacturing sites,” said General Motors spokesperson David Barnas. “Plant security responded promptly to the incident and assisted local emergency response teams. The incident remains under investigation. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims’ families and all others impacted by this incident. We have no further comment at this time.”

Suber said he felt the shooting could have been prevented with proper security.

He said there were signs saying no weapons were allowed, but it was common for workers to carry backpacks that weren’t checked by security.

Suber said he was giving a break to a worker and had a headphone in when he heard Allen and the suspect arguing behind him. When he turned around, he saw the suspect pull a gun out of a backpack and shoot Allen.

He said the scene was chaotic as workers scrambled to get away. He recalled jumping over the assembly line, and when he landed, he felt his foot start to burn where he had been shot.

Suber said at one point he made eye contact with the shooter.

“Honestly, I never thought I’d be here today,” he said.

The shooter then walked away toward the back, Suber said. Moraine police Sgt. Andrew Parish said crews found the shooter outside with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the face.

The suspect remained hospitalized in critical condition as of Monday. He has not been charged at this time.

Since the shooting, Suber said he’s had a hard time sleeping and still has pain in his foot. He’s been working at DMAX for more than two months and enjoyed the job, he said.

“It’s actually very family-oriented,” he said. “It’s a good job with good pay.”

Now Suber doesn’t know when he’ll be able to go back to work or if he wants to work in a factory again.

He added his 6-year-old daughter couldn’t stand to see him in the hospital. He also has another child on the way.

Allen was the father of two children, Wright said.

Police said the shooting was a targeted event over a feud involving woman who also worked at the plant.

“We’ve been able to confirm that both the suspect and Mr. Allen were apparently involved in a domestic-related feud over a female who was also an employee of the facility,” Parish said last week. “During the altercation between the two males last night, the suspect produced a semi-automatic handgun and shot and killed Mr. Allen.”

Suber said he worked in the same area as Allen and the woman. He wasn’t familiar with the suspect, but said the suspect would come down the line to talk to the woman sometimes.