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HENNING, Tenn. - Two women working at a rural West Tennessee post office were shot and killed Monday during a possible robbery attempt, authorities said.
The Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department told The Associated Press that the shooting happened Monday morning at the post office in Henning. Officers are searching for a maroon Chevrolet Malibu with two men inside.
The post office, which sits between a self-service car wash and a coin-operated laundry called "Mom's" in this town of about 1,200 people, often has people coming in and out to pick up their mail. Home delivery isn't provided in Henning _ the hometown of "Roots" author Alex Haley _ some 45 miles northeast of Memphis.
Around midday, plainclothes investigators were scanning the area along a railroad track that sits behind the post office. Lines of yellow police tape kept people away from the building as a crowd gathered nearby, some sitting in chairs, waiting for more information about what happened.
Crime scene investigation trucks were parked outside, including one from the Tennessee Department of Investigation.
Tony Burns, a state employee at the Tennessee Capitol in Nashville, said his sister-in-law is a postal service worker who was assigned to the Henning office Monday. She told him that the shooting happened during a robbery attempt, but that she escaped unharmed.
Standing on a street corner near the post office, city resident Emmitt Hennings, a 71-year-old retiree, said it was hard to comprehend what happened.
"I just couldn't believe it, not in this town," Hennings said. "It's too quiet."
Yulanda Burns, an inspector with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Atlanta, said it was too early to determine a motive. The FBI also was helping the postal service investigate.
Jeff Dew, of the Dennis Dew Termite Co., told the AP that his brother, Eric Banks, was driving through the area when a woman flagged him down near the post office. Dew said his brother reported the shooting to police. He said his brother has been talking with police since about 9 a.m.