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

  • An arm of the state should not be forcing lawyers to declare their values

    Canada News CBC News
    Over the past couple of weeks I've become Canada's most notorious law professor. I filed an application requesting the Superior Court of Ontario review the legality and constitutionality of the new requirement imposed by the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) that lawyers and paralegals "demonstrate a personal valuing of diversity, equality, and inclusion. Source
  • Canada Post is scaling back its letters-from-Santa program for kids who write from school

    Canada News CBC News
    Canada Post says Santa won't be sending as many personalized letters to kids this year, though he still wants to make sure he responds to every note he receives. The postal agency says many children write letters to Santa both from home and from school, which gave Santa and his elves a total of 1.6 million notes to reply to last year. Source
  • Hydro hip-hop: listen to two tunes about Ontario hydro bills

    Canada News CTV News
    The Wack MCs have the “Hydro Blues.” “Look at this bill -- am I reading it right?” they rap in a new music video. “If I feed my kids, I gotta shut off my lights?” Source
  • 12 dead in hotel fire in Georgia's Black Sea resort

    World News CTV News
    TBILISI, Georgia -- The Georgian Interior Ministry says 12 people have died in a fire in a hotel in the Black Sea resort city of Batumi. Russia's TASS news agency is quoting the ministry as saying the fire engulfed the Leogrand hotel late Friday evening. Source
  • Canadian charged in Yahoo hacking case to plead guilty in U.S., court records say

    Canada News CBC News
    A Canadian accused by the United States of helping Russian intelligence agents break into email accounts as part of a massive 2014 breach of Yahoo accounts is expected to plead guilty next week, according to court records. Source
  • Notley wins over Calgary business crowd, starting with 'eastern bastards' remark

    Canada News CBC News
    Two years after struggling through a speech in front of an awkwardly silent business crowd, Rachel Notley stood before the Calgary Chamber again on Friday and opened with a joke. "I spent the earlier part of the week out in Ontario — you know, the home of those eastern bastards," the Alberta premier said. Source
  • Starting with 'eastern bastards' remark, Notley wins over Calgary business crowd

    Canada News CBC News
    Two years after struggling through a speech in front of an awkwardly silent business crowd, Rachel Notley stood before the Calgary Chamber again on Friday and opened with a joke. "I spent the earlier part of the week out in Ontario — you know, the home of those eastern bastards," the Alberta premier said. Source
  • Jewish group, residents of Ontario town urge new name for 'Swastika Trail'

    Canada News CTV News
    A major Jewish advocacy group in Canada has stepped up efforts to help some residents of an Ontario town convince local politicians to rename a street currently called Swastika Trail. B'nai Brith Canada started an online petition Thursday calling on Puslinch Township, about 75 kilometres west of Toronto, to change the street name. Source
  • Fraud trial of the 'Muslim Madoff' adjourned after accused fires lawyer: Crown

    Canada News CBC News
    The trial of a Toronto businessman charged with fraud for allegedly pocketing millions in "Shariah-compliant" mortgages has been delayed until next fall — just as it was beginning. The opening day of the trial for Omar Kalair, dubbed the "Muslim Madoff" by some of the homeowners who were allegedly left thousands in the hole after buying into the mortgages marketed to Muslims, got underway earlier this month. Source
  • False killer whale is latest cetacean to die at Vancouver Aquarium

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- The Vancouver Aquarium says the false killer whale it rescued off a beach over three years ago has died at the facility. The aquarium says in a statement that Chester's behaviour changed Wednesday and despite intensive veterinary care, he died this morning. Source