Suspect in Kansas shooting had been ordered to stay away from former girlfriend

HESSTON, Kan. -- A convicted felon was ordered to stay away from a former girlfriend and obtained two firearms from another woman before killing three people and wounding 14 others during a shooting rampage that ended at a factory in central Kansas, investigators say.

See Full Article

Cedric L. Ford was fatally shot during a shootout with the police chief in Hesston, a town about 30 miles north of Wichita, after opening fire Thursday at the Excel Industries lawnmower parts plant where he worked, authorities said Friday. Ford also shot and wounded two people from his car as he drove to the site.

Federal prosecutors charged Sarah Hopkins, of nearby Newton, with one count of knowingly transferring a firearm to a convicted felon on Friday. Prosecutors allege that Hopkins, a friend of Ford's, knew he was a convicted felon when she gave him a semi-automatic rifle and a handgun.

Authorities have said Ford, 38, was armed with an assault rifle and a pistol.

Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton said earlier Friday that Hesston's police chief, Doug Schroeder, was a "tremendous hero." Walton said between 200 and 300 people were in the factory at the time, and the "shooter wasn't done by any means when Schroeder chased and shot him.

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

Authorities identified the dead as 44-year-old Brian Sadowsky of Newton; 31-year-old Josh Higbee of Buhler; and 30-year-old Renee Benjamin, whose hometown wasn't immediately available. All three victims worked at the plant and were killed inside the building.

Walton said his office served Ford with a protection-from-abuse order at around 3:30 p.m. Thursday, 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.

A judge issued a temporary order of protection earlier this month for a woman who said Ford was a violent, depressed alcoholic. The woman said she and Ford were arguing on Feb. 5 when he grabbed her, placed her in a choke hold from behind and took her to the ground.

"It's my belief he is in desperate need of medical and psychological help!" she wrote.

Authorities on Friday said Ford had a history of domestic violence, including an arrest in Newton in November 2008 for felony battery and disorderly conduct. He also was arrested in July 2010, for driving while intoxicated and obstruction.

Investigators said that while driving to the factory Thursday, the gunman shot a man on the street, striking him in the shoulder, and later shot someone in the leg at an intersection. He also shot one person in the factory parking lot before opening fire inside the building, according to the sheriff's office.

Hesston is a community of about 3,700 about 35 miles north of Wichita. Excel Industries was founded there in 1960. The company manufactures Hustler and Big Dog mowing equipment.

The shooting came less than a week after 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. The suspect remains in custody.

------

Associated Press writers P. Solomon Banda in Hesston, John Hanna in Wichita, and Heather Hollingsworth, Margaret Stafford and Jim Suhr in Kansas City, Missouri, contributed to this report.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Illicit drug deaths reaches record high 914 in B.C. last year

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    VICTORIA — British Columbia reached a new peak of 914 illicit drug overdose deaths last year with the arrival of the deadly opioid fentanyl. The figure is almost 80 per cent higher than the 510 overdose deaths due to illicit drugs in 2015. Source
  • Harambe's matriarch grandmother dies at Zoo Miami

    World News CTV News
    MIAMI -- Zoo Miami's matriarch gorilla, Josephine, who was grandmother to the internet-famous Harambe, has died. The zoo announced on social media that the 49-year-old ape was euthanized Wednesday morning, saying she had been suffering from several health issues that slowly incapacitated her. Source
  • Holy McSausage! Naked man walks into Thai McDonald’s

    World News Toronto Sun
    A hungover tourist stunned early risers at a Thai McDonald’s over the weekend when he rolled in completely naked. Witnesses said the middle-aged, pot-bellied man seemed a tad bewildered. “He spoke English but he seemed a bit confused,” Ao Sayachak, a nearby street vendor, told the Daily Star. Source
  • Indigenous leaders to press federal government on services in northern community

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- Indigenous leaders are set to press the federal government on Thursday over services available in Wapekeka First Nation -- a tiny community in northern Ontario mourning the suicides of two 12-year-old girls. Community leaders say the reserve school remains closed while crisis teams work on the ground following the deaths of Jolynn Winter and Chantel Fox earlier this month. Source
  • Former Expo Tim Raines elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

    Canada News CBC News
    Former Montreal star Tim Raines along with Jeff Bagwell, and Ivan Rodriguez have been elected to baseball's Hall of Fame, earning the honour as Trevor Hoffman and another Expos great, Vladimir Guerrero, fell just short. Source
  • Obama's biggest advice for Trump: listen

    World News CTV News
    In his final press conference as U.S. president, Barack Obama offered some personal advice for President-elect Donald Trump: listen to everyone, even if you disagree with them. “If you find yourself isolated because the process breaks down, or if you’re only hearing from people who agree with you on everything, and if you don’t create a process that is fact-checking and probing and asking hard questions… that’s when you start making mistakes,” Obama said Wednesday. Source
  • Woman who sought kidney on Craigslist gets it from mother

    World News Toronto Sun
    BARRINGTON, N.J. — A New Jersey woman who found a kidney donor on Craigslist in 2015 but later was told the organ transplant couldn’t happen because of complications has now received a kidney. Egg Harbor City resident Nina Saria, 34, said Tuesday she got a kidney last month from her mother, who lives in the Republic of Georgia. Source
  • Ontario premier vows more hydro relief before spring budget

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Premier Kathleen Wynne says more hydro relief will be announced before the spring budget. Wynne met today with an Amherstburg, Ont., woman who wrote a Facebook post that was shared more than 21,000 times complaining about hydro rates. Source
  • ISIS driven from eastern Mosul in brutal bloodbath

    World News Toronto Sun
    Coalition forces are in complete control of eastern Mosul after driving Islamic State militants from that part of the city. Describing the bloody battle as a “big victory”, Iraqi Army Lt. Gen. Talib Shaghati hailed the win over the terrorists as “unprecedented. Source
  • Woman, 85, whose corpse was left in bags had been strangled

    World News Toronto Sun
    NEW YORK — An investigation has determined that an 85-year-old New York City woman was strangled before her corpse was placed in plastic bags and left inside her home for five months. The medical examiner’s office says Erika Kraus-Breslin died of “homicidal asphyxia, including neck compression. Source