Andreas Deon Horton was the gunman who killed two people and wounded two others at a fire hydrant plant in Alabama, police say. Horton killed himself after the June 15, 2021, shooting at the Mueller Company in Albertville, Alabama, according to police. The 34-year-old was an employee at the Marshall County company, police said.
Horton lived in DeKalb County, police said. Albertville Police said an investigation is underway to determine Horton’s motive. The shooting killed Michael Lee Dobbins, of Boaz, Alabama, and David Lee Horton, also of Boaz, police said. Horton was not related to David Horton, Albertville Police Chief Jamie Smith told reporters at a press conference. The wounded victims have been identified as Casey Simpson and Isaac Byrd. Their conditions were not immediately available.
“Tragedy has struck in our community. Terrible incident, something small town Albertville we see and hear about other places but this morning early it struck home,” Smith said.
Smith told reporters, “At this time, detectives are processing the scene. Officers are also working toward a motive as to why the shooting occurred which will hopefully be discovered in the coming days.” He said the Mueller plant will be shut down for “at least a few more days” while the investigation is completed.
Albertville, located in northern Alabama, is known as the “Fire Hydrant Capital of the World” and is home to about 21,000 people. The Mueller Company plant employs about 400 people. Albertville Mayor Tracy Honea said in a statement, “I send our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims, well wishes to those injured, and our thoughts and prayers to the entire Mueller team, both here in Albertville, across the United States, and abroad.” She said the plant is an “integral” part of the Albertville community and added, “We hurt with them today.”
Here’s what you need to know about Andreas Horton:
1. Horton Opened Fire With a Handgun at the Plant During Its Third Shift While About 100 Employees Were Inside & the Shooting Was ‘Completely Unprovoked,’ Police Say
Smith, the Albertville police chief said at a press conference, “This morning about 2:30 a call was received by the Albertville Police Department of a shooting that occurred at the Mueller Company. Officers from the Albertville Police Department and also officers from the Boaz Police Department responded to the scene. On officers arrival, four victims were located. An apparent shooter had fled the scene in a maroon Jeep Cherokee. Information was broadcast to the surrounding agencies concerning the incident. As the investigation unfolded it was determined that the shooter, Andreas Deon Horton, 34 years old, of County Road 25 in DeKalb County, who was also an employee of the Mueller Company, presented a handgun and began to fire an unknown amount of rounds at fellow employees.”
Smith said two people were killed and two were wounded during the gunfire. The injured victims were taken to a local hospital and later transferred by helicopter to a hospital in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Smith said the shooting was “confined inside the plant,” and it was over a large area, but “all inside the plant.” He said investigators were dealing with the “vastness of the scene. We had victims over two or three locations, in a large area.” Smith said the shooting happened in the middle of the shift and Horton was working at the time. According to Smith, more than 100 people were inside the building at the time.
The police chief said he believed the shooting was, “Completely unprovoked, at this point.” Smith added, “It’s tough. No bones about it, loss of life any time is terrible. Whether it’s at the hands of a gunman, natural causes, car accident, name it. We’re just fortunate we live in a community where people care. We’ve got a lot of good folks here. It’s something we don’t have to deal with locally every day.”
A GoFundMe has been started for one of the victims, Dobbins, who went by Lee Dobbins. His family and friends wrote on the GoFundMe, “Lee was a great person! Never in a million years would have ever hurt anyone or Their feelings. He loved his family with his whole heart. Especially his daughter Daisy and his wife Amanda. He was so full of life and his beautiful smile and spirit would light up the room!”
The GoFundMe campaign adds, “Little did we know that when he walked thru those doors at Mueller this morning to go and support his family as he did on a daily basis, it would be his last day with us or his Mueller family. Please continue prayers for his family as we are all still in complete shock. Please pray for the other victims and families as well. We know that the only way through this tragedy will be with the help of god, family and friends. If you can, please give anything you can to this loving family. Anything donated will go to burial expenses incurred and to help support his wife and baby girl.”
David Horton was also married and had children, according to his Facebook profile. He was a Gadsden native. A friend wrote on Facebook, ” one of the nicest guys I have ever met in my life…I don’t understand why anyone would want to harm such a great person.”
Another friend added, “I said the same thing brother! He was always laughing and cutting up everytime we spoke.”
2. Horton Was Found Dead in His Jeep of an Apparent Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound Near the Guntersville City Cemetery Alongside Multiple Weapons, Police Said
Smith said, “Officers immediately began a search for Horton and through the investigation discovered that Horton was still traveling in a maroon Jeep Cherokee and was possibly in the downtown area of Guntersville.”
He added, “Shortly before 6 a.m. a Guntersville Police officer spotted a vehicle matching that description and immediately called for other officers to assist. Officers discovered Horton was dead with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Multiple weapons were recovered from inside the vehicle.”
Smith said Horton was found dead on Carlisle Avenue in Guntersville near, the city cemetery. He said he was not sure why Horton went to that particular location. He said that could be part of the investigation as they talk to family.
3. Horton Was an Albertville Native Who Was Married With Children & Previously Worked at Tyson Foods
Horton was a native of Albertville and graduated from Albertville High School in 2006, according to his Facebook profile. He previously worked at Tyson Foods. According to his Facebook page, Horton was married and had children. He went by Andy Horton, according to Facebook friends.
His cousin wrote on Facebook, “This one hurt! He was a Son, a father, a husband, a brother, my family, one of the hardest workers I’ve ever seen, I hate that this happened! You will forever be missed Andy! My prayers go out to the entire Horton family! RIP Andreas Horton!! My prayers also go out to everyone involved! Today was a sad day!”
She later added, “First of all I never said what my cousin did was ok not a 1 time. Random act and people need answers is all! … I don’t agree with what he did. It’s just all sad as f***! Again let the police investigate the altercation that took place at Muller that prevented this tragic to happen.”
Another friend wrote, “I can not believe this! We graduated together, and he was such a good person. Never in trouble, and never bothered anyone. I’ll always remember his goofy laugh, and smile.”
4. Horton Had Worked at the Mueller Plant for About 10 Years & Had Only Minor Run-Ins With Police in His Past, the Chief Said
Smith said Horton had worked at the Mueller plant for about 10 years. Smith said he wasn’t aware of any tension or issues between Horton and other employees at the facility, but he said that is still under investigation. Smith said they know “very little” about Horton. “We had some dealings with him in the past, but nothing recent. It had been several years ago and it was nothing malicious. Traffic tickets and such.” He said they hadn’t yet searched his residence.
Smith said the facility is gated and fenced with a guard shack at the entryway, and it “was manned by a private security company. But you have to keep in mind this guy was an employee. He was supposed to be there.”
The Mueller Company said in a statement, “Mueller Water Products is shocked and deeply saddened by the horrific tragedy that occurred this morning at our Albertville, Alabama, facility. Our hearts are with the victims and their loved ones, the Albertville community and the entire Mueller family during this extremely difficult time. Our entire focus is on the health and well-being of our colleagues and we are committed to providing any and all support to them and their families. We continue to work closely with law enforcement in whom we share a great, deepest gratitude for their support. We will provide updates as we learn more.”
5. The FBI Said It Is Available to Assist in the Investigation & Local Police Said They Will Be Interviewing Witnesses & the Injured Victims
Smith said, “At this time officers are still at the shooting scene, at the Mueller Company, processing for any additional evidence. Currently, officers are also still working toward any motive as to why, what may have sparked or caused the shooting. Hopefully, we’ll learn something more about that in the coming days are the investigation unfolds and the detectives get to talk to possible witnesses and the initial responding officers to the scene. Guntersville Police, the Marshall County District Attorney’s Office along with a detective with the Albertville Police Department handled the scene there in Guntersville.”
The FBI was also at the scene, according to Special Agent Will Strunk, supervisor of the agency’s Gadsden office. Strunk said the FBI is there in an assistance role. “Anything the chief needs, I’m going to make sure it gets took care of.”
Smith said, “Our team of guys, our detectives, they’ve handled this, in my opinion, flawlessly this morning. In the coming days, that’s where we’re going to rely on help from folks like Will Strunk with the FBI to assist where they can, chasing down anything we can. Obviously the two injured folks…maybe a couple three days before we can talk to them in an interview-type situation, get what they know. Obviously, their health and well-being is our primary concern, getting them stabilized at least. Beyond that, it will be family members, police work and what our investigators can come up with.”
Smith told reporters, “Obviously I’d like to extend our thoughts and prayers to the Mueller Company in the coming days. They’ve been a pillar and a great community partner in Marshall County for many years. I’d also like to extend thanks for assistance in the response and also the investigation to the many local law enforcement agencies: Boaz Police, Guntersville Police, Douglas Police, the Arab Police Department, the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department, Sheriff Phil Sims, Marshall County District Attorney’s Office, the Marshall County Drug Task Force, the Marshall County Coroner’s Office, the Etowah County Sheriff’s Department, the Etowah Police Department, the Sardis Police Department, the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department, ALEA and Secretary Hal Taylor, the North Alabama Criminal Organized Crime Task Force and the Huntsville RCFL, which is an arm of the FBI. We had several EMS agencies responding as well. The Albertsville Fire and Rescue, Boaz Fire and Rescue, Marshall Health Systems Ambulance Service all responded to this scene this morning.”
He added about the investigation, ‘We’re still early in that part. And hoping something will come out. People are being talked to. We have our guys, DA guys, federal guys, state guys, a multitude of agencies to help. That’s something we’ve got a lot of preliminary information, may have to step back and take a breath and see what the next step is. My guess, they’re probably going to start talking to people very quick.”
Smith said the mayor has received phone calls from Washington, D.C., from the governor’s office expressing their condolences for everything that happened. “It’s a sad day. Something we only read about here. But it’s here,” Smith said.