Victim in 1991 Warren workplace shooting recounts experience

By Justin Wier


For William John Everett, the morning of June 27, 1991, was just an average morning.

“You get up in the morning, get dressed and go to work,” Everett said. “You don’t think about [bad things] happening.”

But the events that occurred that morning at Veterinary Co. of America in Warren were anything but routine.

Roderick Davie, a disgruntled former employee, held Everett, John Coleman and Tracey Jeffreys at gunpoint and ordered them to the floor.

He shot Coleman to death and beat Jeffreys to death with a folding chair. Everett was shot three times, but he survived.

Later, when he tried to escape, Davie attempted to run him down with a truck and then beat him with a stick. Davie finally fled when he heard sirens approaching.

The state of Ohio executed Davie in 2010, but Everett still lives with the scars, both literal and metaphorical, that he sustained in the massacre.

Twenty-seven years later, Everett fought back tears as he recounted the experience to those in attendance at an active shooter conference sponsored by the Ohio Small Business Development Center at Youngstown State University.

Everett said he walked around the Williamson College of Business Administration before he addressed the crowd. He was looking for “holes,” he said, for a way out if something were to happen.

“It’s unfortunate, but that’s the life I live,” Everett said.

Every time he sees a mass shooting in the news, Everett said he writes letters or makes phone calls to get in touch with the victims.

“I feel like I know what they’re going to go through, and what I went through,” he said.

The conference discussed prevention tools and techniques for schools and small businesses.

William Barna, a Howland Township police officer who invented a Bolo Stick device for securing doors, hosted the conference.

Other speakers included a representative from an insurance company and a representative from a consulting company that provides businesses with security assessments.

“It’s about putting tools in the tool box,” Barna said.

The afternoon featured a roundtable with local law-enforcement officials and school superintendents.

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