Neighbors: Cummins shooter kept to himself

(WISH Photo)

SEYMOUR, Ind. (WISH) — Thirty-seven-year-old Qing Chen used a 9 millimeter handgun he purchased in 2012 to kill his boss, 49-year-old Ward Edwards, before killing himself at the Seymour Cummins plant Thursday, according to the Seymour Police Department.

He was in the U.S. on a work visa and had a legal permit to carry a gun, police said.

Police also found three rifles and a handgun inside Chen’s apartment.

Jessica Abrams watched as detectives searched his place. She lives across the lot and said she recognized his picture right away.

“He’s just a neighbor that we see around,” Abrams said. “I would never think that just one of my regular neighbors you see every day would do something like that.”

Photo of Cummins shooting victim, Ward Edwards.
Photo of Cummins shooting victim, Ward Edwards.

She said she never spoke with him, and six of his other neighbors said they’ve never seen him.

Edwards was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church in Columbus, a father of two students and a man who school leaders praised for taking time off work last year to help with a school field trip.

A Cummins spokesperson said grief counselors will be at the Seymour plant when workers return next week.

“I never thought anything like that could actually happen,” Abrams said.

Abrams said she’s now afraid to walk outside at night. She said she’s locking her doors even when she’s home.

“It makes you feel like your safety is in jeopardy,” Abrams said. “Just a regular old person walking down the street, you know what I’m saying? Never suspected. Never even thought twice.”

Abrams said when she saw Chen he’d usually be walking to and from his car or checking his mail. Police said he lived alone in his apartment.

Seymour police said they will not likely reveal a motive because it’s a Cummins personnel issue.

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