NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – An employee at a civil engineering firm is accused of slashing his supervisor’s throat with a kitchen knife Friday, the company’s CEO says he was already on a leave of absence for work-related stress.

Roy Dale is a former councilman and current CEO of Dale and Associates. He says the employee, 40-year-old John Herren has been a designer with the company for more than ten years.

“Very good at what he did, extremely good at what he did,” Dale told News 2.

Herren had been on a leave of absence for a few weeks, when he allegedly walked into work with two steak knives and went straight for Chief Engineer Adam Seger.

“Basically walked through the office, got behind one of my principles, pulled his head back, and cut his throat,” Dale said.

Seger was rushed to the hospital and survived. Dale says the knife missed his main artery by a fraction. Seger got 16 stitches and was sent home.

When asked if there were any altercations in the office, Dale says none “whatsoever.”

He adds that Herren had expressed high-stress levels and that’s why he had taken leave.

“He was just stressed. When we maneuver a process with metro government, trying to let people get projects approved, we deal with Metro employees, council members, and the public as well, and it’s a very tight balancing act to try and make everyone happy,” Dale explained.

“So John was just expressing to us that he was having a difficult time with that and he just really wanted to do something different within the company, which we were glad to accommodate him, but still he was struggling and he took off and when he came back, this happened.”

Herren is in jail charged with attempted criminal homicide.

Dale says they will continue to run the business but will be taking a closer look at the stress level for employees in the office.