- Associated Press - Friday, February 13, 2015

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - A truck driver who had a workplace argument with a supervisor over a delivery was responsible for fatally shooting that man and injuring two other people at an industrial site before committing suicide, authorities confirmed Friday.

Authorities said they used dental records to identify Jeffrey DeZeeuw of Sioux Falls as the gunman in the shooting Thursday at a Sioux Steel Co. location known as ProTec, about 20 miles southwest of the city.

DeZeeuw, 52, was found by the right rear end of a burned semitrailer located along a gravel road about 4 miles away from Lennox, where the business is located.

Lincoln County Sheriff Dennis Johnson said DeZeeuw argued with Jon Richter, 45, on Thursday morning over a truckload that DeZeeuw was asked to take to another state. Johnson said DeZeeuw then returned around 2 p.m., killing Richter and wounding worker Kathy Steever. Johnson said another employee, Brian Roesler, then confronted DeZeeuw - possibly preventing more injuries or deaths.

“(Roesler) heard what was going on, came out, saw a man with a gun and just immediately engaged him, you know, in a fight. He was trying to take the gun away from him,” Johnson said. Roesler, 45, was hit in the head with the handgun multiple times. He has been released from a hospital after receiving treatment.

Steever, 46, of Lennox, had been in critical condition but officials said Friday her condition had improved.

Authorities believe that after the shooting, DeZeeuw left the building and began driving the semitrailer. They said he then killed himself after setting the Plains Xpress semitrailer on fire. Next to his body was a handgun, which Johnson said was “consistent” with the shell casing found at the site of the shooting.

No suicide note was found at DeZeeuw’s Sioux Falls home, which was searched Thursday evening. It wasn’t clear whether he was a contractor or direct employee of Sioux Steel’s ProTec Engineered Buildings division.

DeZeeuw’s background included various minor traffic offenses, and an arrest for assault and disorderly conduct in 2001. Those charges were later dropped. In 2008, DeZeeuw mailed a feces-smeared traffic ticket to the clerk of courts in Minnehaha County and was sentenced to three years of probation.

Sioux Steel is offering counseling for its employees, and issued a statement saying it is cooperating with law enforcement agencies. The state’s Division of Criminal Investigation will continue to investigate.


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