Henderson: The grieving process begins - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Henderson: The grieving process begins

By Brandon Bartlett
Posted by Amanda Lents

Work has resumed at Atlantis Plastics but it will never be the same.

The Henderson factory was the scene of a killing spree early Wednesday morning.

An angry employee opened fire killing his supervisor and four other co-workers before killing himself.

The grieving process has begun and the road to recovery could be a long one.

"Anybody who witnesses something like that, it is something you never forget," said Psychologist Dr. Elizabeth Kalb.

When Wesley Higdon opened fire in the breakroom eight people were inside. Four were able to escape and four others were shot and killed.

Dr. Kalb says the first responders and those who saw the massacre are probably still in shock.

"You witness something like that and part of you thinks I can't believe this just happened and then you feel deeply overwhelmed. Really struggling now with how do we cope, how do we recognize coworkers I worked along side with are no longer with me," said Dr. Kalb. 

For some getting back to work and on a regular schedule will help. Others might suffer for years.

"We're talking about things like nightmares, flashbacks, feeling extremely on edge, having difficulty sleeping and so forth and they need to learn how they can sooth themselves, how do they come to gripes with what happened to them and kind of establish a new normal in their life," said Dr. Kalb. 

So what would make someone like Higdon snap and gundown fellow coworkers?

Dr. Kalb says it's hard to pinpoint a certain trigger. It could have been anything from an untreated mental illness to drug and alcohol use.

What she says stands out is the phone call Higdon made to his girlfriend before the shooting.

"One of the things they've done with some of the school shooting is they discovered many of the shooters did inform people ahead of time that they were going to do this," said Dr. Kalb. 

Dr. Kalb says if someone tells you something like that you need to take action and call 911.

Dr. Kalb's advises those grieving talk to someone like a friend, family member or minister.

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