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

  • Memorial site: Alberta apologizes to families for cleaning up plane wreckage

    Canada News CTV News
    WHITECOURT, Alta. -- The province of Alberta is apologizing to the families of three people killed in a plane crash almost 65 years ago after cleaning up the wreckage without warning. A memorial site near Whitecourt, Alta. Source
  • Ontario PCs' Urgent Priorities Act to address hydro salaries, York University strike

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Ontario's new Progressive Conservative government has introduced legislation that, if passed, would give it sweeping new powers over executive compensation at Hydro One. The bill, dubbed the Urgent Priorities Act, was introduced today by Energy Minister Greg Rickford and would give the government authority to approve executive compensation at the utility. Source
  • 'This is shameful': Trump's news conference with Putin stuns fellow Republicans

    World News CBC News
    On a trip in which Donald Trump dumbfounded allies and his usual critics in the Democrat Party with comments concerning the European Union and British leaders, the U.S. president ended with a news conference performance at his first head-to-head summit with Russia President Vladimir Putin that had even some Republicans shaking their heads. Source
  • Lawmakers call Trump's performance 'bizarre,' 'shameful'

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Key members of Congress, including some Republicans, are criticizing U.S. President Donald Trump's performance at a press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin as "bizarre," "shameful" and a "missed opportunity" to stand up to Russia. Source
  • Members of Trudeau's youth council urge cancellation of Kinder Morgan buyout

    Canada News CBC News
    Members of Justin Trudeau's youth council are urging the prime minister to withdraw his decision to buy Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline. Sixteen past and present members of the youth council are releasing a letter to Trudeau expressing their "disappointment" in the Liberal government's move to buy the pipeline project for $4.5 billion. Source
  • Judge temporarily halts deportation of reunified families

    World News CTV News
    SAN DIEGO -- A federal judge on Monday ordered a temporary halt to any deportations of reunited families who were separated by the Trump administration after crossing the southwest border. The American Civil Liberties Union had asked Judge Dana Sabraw to delay deportations a week after reunification. Source
  • 'A class act': Ray Emery played in a Hamilton charity hockey game the night before he died

    Canada News CBC News
    Ray Emery was giving back to Hamilton and playing the game he loved the night before he died. The ex-NHL goalie was one of several current and former professional players who hit the ice as part of Hockey Night in Hamilton, a charity game that raised funds for Food4Kids. Source
  • Workers at Goderich salt mine accept deal to end 12-week strike

    Canada News CBC News
    The 12-week strike at the salt mine in Goderich, Ontario is over. Workers voted Monday to accept a three-year deal reached between Unifor Local 16-0 and the mine owner, Compass Minerals. The salt mine, the world's largest, employs more than 350 unionized workers. Source
  • Iran arrests 46 in fresh crackdowns on Instagram models

    World News CTV News
    TEHRAN, Iran -- Iranian authorities have arrested dozens of people in fresh crackdowns on models and associated colleagues posting "immoral images" online. The official IRNA news agency reported Monday that officials in the southern port city of Bandar Abbas, some 1250 kilometres, or 630 miles, south of the capital Tehran, arrested eight women and 36 other people in the photography, beauty salons and wedding businesses who used Instagram to share what they considered indecent images and…
  • 'Kloe inside washer': Mom's post about girl trapped in front-loading machine goes viral

    World News CTV News
    A mother is warning other parents about the dangers of front-loaded laundry equipment after her three-year-old daughter became trapped in a new washing machine. Lindsey McIver’s story has garnered more than 250,000 shares on Facebook since July 11. Source