Cop who killed Kansas gunman a 'tremendous hero'

HESSTON, Kan. -- A man who stormed into a Kansas factory where he worked and shot 15 people, killing three, had just been served with a protective order that probably triggered the attack, authorities said Friday.

See Full Article

The assault at the Excel Industries lawnmower parts plant in the small town of Hesston ended when a police officer killed the gunman during a shootout.

Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton described the officer as a "tremendous hero" because 200 or 300 people were still in the factory and the "shooter wasn't done by any means."

"Had that Hesston officer not done what he did, this would be a whole lot more tragic," Walton said.

The sheriff identified the gunman as Cedric Ford, a 38-year-old plant worker who had several convictions in Florida over the last decade. His past offences included burglary, grand theft, fleeing from an officer, aggravated fleeing, carrying a concealed weapon, all from Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

According to the Wichita Eagle, Ford has also had criminal cases in Harvey County, including a misdemeanour conviction in 2008 for fighting or brawling and various traffic violations from 2014 and 2015.

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. Authorities have not disclosed a possible motive in those attacks.

Eleven of the people wounded in Thursday's attack were taken to two Wichita hospitals, where one was in critical condition, five in serious condition and five in fair condition Friday morning, hospital officials said.

The others were taken to a hospital in nearby Newton, and their conditions were not immediately available.

Walton said his office served the suspect with the protection-from-abuse order at around 3:30 p.m., 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. He did not disclose the nature of the relationship in question.

While driving to the factory, the gunman shot a man on the street in 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 news release. "He was seen entering the building with an assault-style long gun."

Ford had left work early without explanation before showing up hours later with a rifle, according to a co-worker.

Matt Jarrell says he and Ford had worked "hand-in-hand" as painters on the second shift. He says Ford arrived as scheduled on Thursday but later disappeared and wasn't there to relieve him so that he could take a break.

Jarrell told The Associated Press on Friday that someone else eventually spelled him and that he was sitting in his truck in the parking lot when he saw Ford drive up in a truck that wasn't his.

Jarrell said he sped away when he saw Ford shoot someone and then enter the building.

Moments later, Martin Espinoza, who works at Excel, heard people yelling to others to get out of the building, then heard popping and 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.

"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."

The officer who exchanged fire with the shooter was not injured.

Walton said the attacker had an "assault-style" rifle and a pistol.

Erin McDaniel, a spokeswoman for Newton, said the suspect was known to local authorities. She would not elaborate.

Hesston is a community of about 3,700 about 56 kilometres 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.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Liberals planning to rubber-stamp potentially dangerous asylum seekers

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    The Trudeau government is planning to quietly introduce new measures to rubber-stamp the approval of many asylum seekers — including people from dangerous and war-torn countries who may pose a threat to Canada’s national security. To deal with the unprecedented spike in landed asylum claims from aspiring refugees to Canada, Trudeau government officials are working on a plan to accelerate refugee applications by bypassing some of the important screening and vetting measures currently used by…
  • Memorial University in Newfoundland reminds students study rooms are for studies, not sex

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Academic leaders at Memorial University are urging students to keep their studies family friendly after a couple was discovered having sex in the business building. Larry Bauer, associate dean in the faculty of business administration, says in a recent email that a staff member walked in on the students “apparently having sex” in a study room, adding that enforcement officers will now be closely monitoring the areas. Source
  • Russian navy ship sinks in Black Sea, all 78 crew rescued

    World News CTV News
    MOSCOW -- A Russian naval reconnaissance ship sank Thursday after colliding with a freighter off Istanbul, but all crew members were rescued, the Defence Ministry said.Scroll down or click here for the latest on this story Turkey's coastal safety authority said all 78 personnel from the Russian frigate Liman were safe, as were all crew aboard the freighter, the Togo-flagged Youzarsif H. Source
  • German soldier posing as Syrian refugee arrested on suspicion of planning bizarre attack

    World News Toronto Sun
    BERLIN — Police have arrested a German soldier who had posed as a Syrian refugee on suspicion he was planning an attack, apparently motivated by anti-foreigner sentiment, in a case that prosecutors said Thursday was “more than strange. Source
  • 'Frustration fuelled by confusion': Canada Council botches rollout of online grant applications

    Canada News CBC News
    A botched rollout of the Canada Council for the Arts' new online grant application process is causing confusion and headaches for artists and arts organizations across the country. The "portal," as it's known, was supposed to start accepting grant applications before this Sunday. Source
  • Ohio man calls 911, asks for police dog to help recover heroin

    World News Toronto Sun
    AKRON, Ohio — Police say an Ohio man called 911 to request a police dog to help track down heroin allegedly stolen from him. WEWS-TV reports Joseph Murphy, 20, of Bath Township, near Akron, made the call in January. Source
  • Russian navy vessel sinks after collision off Turkey

    World News CBC News
    A Russian reconnaissance ship sank after it collided with a Togo-flagged cargo vessel off the Turkish coast on Thursday, according to Turkey's coastal safety authority. The Russian ship Liman and the other vessel, identified by authorities as Youzarsif H, collided in fog and low visibility in the Black Sea. Source
  • 'There is a lot of fear and worry': Website to help women self-induce abortions at home using medication

    World News Toronto Sun
    An international advocacy group concerned about restrictive laws in the United States plans to help women self-induce abortions at home, offering online advice and counseling about how to use medications that can terminate their pregnancies. Women Help Women, a three-year-old organization headquartered in the Netherlands, this week launched an online service to provide one-on-one counseling services for women seeking to end their early pregnancies using the abortion pill, which is legally…
  • Door seems closed completely to Trump tax returns release

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump "has no intention" of releasing his tax returns to the public, says Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, asserting Americans have "plenty of information" about the president's financial matters. For decades, presidents have released their tax returns. Source
  • Illinois couple married 69 years die minutes apart, holding hands

    World News CTV News
    HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. -- The children of a suburban Chicago couple married for 69 years say their parents died just 40 minutes apart while holding hands at a hospital. Teresa Vatkin died Saturday at 12:10 a.m. Source