Hundreds gather at vigil for Athens workplace shooting victims

ATHENS (WATE) – Hundreds of people turned out in downtown Athens Friday morning for a vigil to remember the victims of Thursday’s workplace shooting at the Thomas & Betts plant.

The community is in mourning after longtime employee Ricky Swafford, according to TBI, opened fire at the plant, killing two of his supervisors – James Zotter and Sandra Cooley.

Related story: 2 supervisors shot, killed by longtime employee of Athens factory

It was a short service, but many who attended were Thomas & Betts employees who say they are just looking for support and comfort.

People in the small community are still trying to comprehend what happened. Thomas & Betts employees came out to help each other through.

“It’s great. It means a lot. It means we’ve got a good supportive work group. We’re like family. And family and friends,” said one employee.

Many turned to prayer to help them understand what happened and try to move forward.

“It’s really hard to believe that something like that happened here in Athens, and especially at a factory that we work at.”

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