Temporary worker charged with murder in WeatherTech shooting

A temporary WeatherTech employee was charged with murder Saturday after he shot three co-workers, killing one, following a confrontation about robberies, Bolingbrook police said.

Charles McKnight, 27, of Chicago killed Central Hightower, 37, of Plainfield, and wounded male co-workers, ages 25 and 43, according to a statement from Bolingbrook Police Chief Mike Rompa.

According to police, a group of employees confronted McKnight near the end of an overnight shift and accused him of stealing a watch and a wallet from two co-workers at gunpoint. He then shot the three men and ran, police said.

It was unclear whether all three shooting victim had confronted McKnight. But police said the 25-year-old, who is in critical condition, was one of the employees who had been robbed. The 43-year-old man has been released from the hospital, according to Rompa's news release.

McKnight, who was found about 9:30 a.m. hiding in a nearby backyard, has been charged with first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder, the news release said. Other charges could be forthcoming.

McKnight was a temporary employment agency worker and had been assigned to the WeatherTech facility a 1 WeatherTech Way since June 9, Rompa said. The shooting does not appear to be premeditated, he said.

A call and emails to WeatherTech officials seeking comment from the company were not acknowledged on Saturday.

U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, a Naperville Democrat, released a statement that said the community has been "shattered by yet another act of senseless gun violence."

"Words cannot express the heartbreak the victims and their families are feeling right now. My thoughts are with them during these difficult times," Foster's statement said.

Foster's statement said no one should have to worry about "random gun violence while going about their normal lives and we cannot accept this as a new reality."

State Sen. Eric Mattson, a Joliet Democrat, also released a statement that said his heart goes out to the victims and their families.

"We need real gun reform, and we need it now," Mattson said in the statement. "Without taking action, we continue to put people and first responders at risk of devastation and tragedy."

Bolingbrook police squad cars block the roadway at the WeatherTech complex on Saturday. Three people were shot, one of them fatally. Gary E. Duncan Sr./Shaw Local News Network
Police respond to a fatal shooting Saturday at the WeatherTech complex in Bolingbrook. Gary E. Duncan Sr./Shaw Local News Network
Police investigate a shooting Saturday at the WeatherTech complex in Bolingbrook. A Chicago man has been charged with murder. Gary E. Duncan Sr./Shaw Local News Network
An ambulance responds to a building at the WeatherTech complex in Bolingbrook on Saturday. Police said a Plainfield man was fatally shot, and two other WeatherTech workers were wounded. Felix Sarver/Shaw Local News Network
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