Sheriff: Kansas gunman kills 3, wounds 14, dies in shootout

HESSTON, Kan. -- A man who shot three people before storming into the central Kansas factory where he worked and shooting 15 others, killing three of them, had just been served a protection from abuse order that likely triggered the attack, a sheriff said Friday.

See Full Article

All of the dead were shot Thursday inside Excel Industries, a plant in Hesston that makes lawnmower products, Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton said. Of those hurt, 10 were critically wounded, he said.

Walton would not identify the suspect.

The shooting came less than a week after authorities say a man opened fire at several locations in the Kalamazoo, Michigan, area, leaving six people dead and two severely wounded.

Walton said his office served the suspect with the protection order at around 3:30 p.m., which was about 90 minutes before the first shooting happened. He said such orders are usually filed because there's some type of violence in a relationship, but he didn't disclose the nature of the relationship in question.

While driving to the factory, the gunman shot a man on the street in the nearby town of Newton, striking him in the shoulder. A short time later, he shot someone else in the leg at an intersection.

"The shooter proceeded north to Excel Industries in Hesston, where one person was shot in the parking lot before he opened fire inside the building," the department said in a release. "He was seen entering the building with an assault-style long gun."

Martin Espinoza, who works at Excel, was in the plant during the attack. He heard people yelling to others to get out of the building, then heard popping, then saw the shooter, a co-worker he described as typically pretty calm.

Espinoza said the shooter pointed a gun at him and pulled the trigger, but the gun was empty. At that point, the gunman got a different gun and Espinoza ran.

"I took off running. He came outside after a few people, shot outside a few times, shot at the officers coming onto the scene at the moment and then reloaded in front of the company," Espinoza told The Associated Press. "After he reloaded he went inside the lobby in front of the building and that is the last I seen him."

A Hesston officer responding to the scene exchanged fire with the shooter, who was killed. The officer was not injured.

Walton said that about 150 people were likely in the plant at the time of the shooting and that the law enforcement officer who killed the suspect "saved multiple, multiple lives." He said the gunman also had a pistol.

The officer who killed the man is "a hero as far as I'm concerned," Walton said.

Erin McDaniel, spokeswoman for the nearby city of Newton, said the suspect was known to local authorities. She wouldn't elaborate.

A nearby college was briefly locked down.

Later Thursday night, several law enforcement vehicles surrounded the suspect's home in a Newton trailer park. The Harvey County Sheriff's Department initially said authorities believed the suspect's roommate could be inside. But McDaniel, the Newton spokeswoman, said later that the standoff had ended and no one was inside.

Hesston is a community of about 3,700 residents about 35 miles north of Wichita.

Excel Industries was founded there in 1960. The company manufactures Hustler and Big Dog mowing equipment and was awarded the Governor's Exporter of the Year award in 2013 from the Kansas Department of Commerce.

Gov. Sam Brownback issued a statement late Thursday, calling the shootings "a tragedy that affects every member of the community."

Walton said the FBI and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation had been called in to assist. A spokeswoman for the Kansas City office of the FBI did not immediately return a call seeking comment Thursday night.

"This is just a horrible incident. ... There's going to be a lot of sad people before this is all over," Walton said.

Associated Press writer John Hanna in Topeka, Kansas, contributed to this report. Fisher reported from Kansas City, Missouri.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Justin Trudeau to discuss health care with premiers

    Canada News CBC News
    CBC News has learned the premiers and territorial leaders will be invited to talk health care at a working dinner hosted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Friday night in Ottawa. The dinner will follow an all-day meeting between the premiers, the prime minister and Indigenous leaders, where the focus will be on finalizing a plan to combat climate change. Source
  • House where Fritzl kept daughter as sex slave sold

    World News Toronto Sun
    VIENNA — The liquidator of Josef Fritzl’s estate says the house where the Austrian kept his daughter captive for 24 years and fathered seven of her children has been sold. Walter Anzboeck says the house in Amstetten, west of Vienna, was sold for 160,000 euros (about $173,0000). Source
  • Mistrial declared in death of black man shot in the back by police officer

    World News CTV News
    CHARLESTON, S.C. -- A South Carolina judge has declared a mistrial after a jury deadlocked in the murder trial of a white police officer charged in the shooting death of an unarmed black motorist. Circuit Judge Clifton Newman declared a mistrial in the case after a jury said it could not reach a verdict after deliberating more than 22 hours over four days. Source
  • Sheriff's deputy dies when personal car goes into San Antonio sinkhole

    World News CTV News
    SAN ANTONIO -- Officials say an off-duty sheriff's deputy has died and two other people hurt when two vehicles plunged into a water-filled sinkhole in San Antonio, Texas. The Bexar (bayr) County Sheriff's Office on Monday identified the victim as 69-year-old Deputy Dora Linda Nishihara, who was a courthouse bailiff. Source
  • Man convicted in son’s hot-car death gets life, no parole

    World News Toronto Sun
    MARIETTA, Ga. — A judge on Monday sentenced a Georgia man to serve life in prison without the possibility of parole after a jury found that he intentionally left his toddler son in a hot SUV to die. Source
  • One dead after vehicles plunge into Texas sinkhole

    World News Toronto Sun
    THE ASSOCIATED PRESS First posted: Monday, December 05, 2016 08:34 AM EST | Updated: Monday, December 05, 2016 08:38 AM EST Source
  • Sinister seniors latest ISIS executioners

    World News Toronto Sun
    Death cult ISIS is engaging in multi-generational massacres, a new video from the terrorists suggests. ISIS videos have featured fatties, kids, women, midgets and more revved up with jihadi bloodlust. Now, ISIS’s latest propaganda video is making terror’s big tent bigger with scenes of frenzied pensioners executing prisoners. Source
  • The race-baiting identity politics of Justin Trudeau

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Seeking the “safe space” that seem so vogue these days, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau went to the safest city in the country for Liberals, and to the two safest spaces he could ever wish for. He sat down the other day with the Toronto Star’s editorial board, and with the CBC’s top-rated Toronto radio show, Metro Morning. Source
  • Teacher had sex with teen -- in fiance's apartment: Cops

    World News Toronto Sun
    A teacher took the old cat’s away, mice will play maxim a bit too far, cops say. Alaina Ferguson, 23, is accused of sexually assaulting a male student and sending him raunchy selfies. Not only that, investigators say the teacher engaged in the trysts at her fiance’s apartment while he was away. Source
  • Landlord in Oakland warehouse fire slammed for Facebook post [Photos] [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    The hipster landlord who ruled over a run-down Oakland warehouse that exploded in flames, killing at least 33 people, was an “arrogant” party animal who laughed off friends’ safety concerns. Derick Ion Almena, who ran the Oakland Ghost Ship, took to Facebook to make a series of whiny comments that ignored the immensity of the horrific tragedy. Source