Kansas Workplace Shooting Leaves 4 Dead, 14 Wounded

by
Reuters
An employee opened fire at a company making lawn care products in Kansas, killing at least four and wounding at least a dozen others.

A man killed three people at a manufacturing plant in central Kansas, after driving around and opening fire on others in a shooting spree that left 14 others wounded and ended when police killed the gunman, authorities said.

The shooter appears to have driven around in a car, opening fire at several locations before entering the building of a lawnmower manufacturer in the town of Hesston, Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton said at a news conference.

The shooter, identified by a dispatcher with the Sheriff's Department as 38-year-old Cedric Ford, began his attacks at about 5 p.m. local time (2300 GMT) in the town of Newton, where a man driving a truck was shot in the shoulder, Walton said.

Witnesses speaking with local television stations also identified the shooter as Cedric Ford.

Soon after, the suspect shot a person in the leg on another street on the way to his worksite at Excel Industries, a large employer in Hesston, which is less than 9 miles (14 km) northwest of Newton, Walton said.

The gunman opened fire in the parking lot of the manufacturing plant, then entered the work site and continued his shooting spree, the sheriff said. Other employees told local media they fled in panic.

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

The shooter killed three people at Excel Industries, and wounded 14 others in total during the rolling attack, the sheriff said.

The gunman died in a shootout, 26 minutes after the first shooting was reported, the sheriff said.

Walton said a lone officer, the first to arrive, killed the shooter and saved lives.

The series of shootings about 35 miles (60 km) north of Wichita come less than a week after a Michigan man who worked as a driver for car-hailing service Uber was charged with killing six people during a shooting rampage.

A number of mass shootings in the United States have elevated gun control as a campaign issue in the November U.S. presidential election.

A dispatcher for the Harvey County, Kansas, sheriff’s department said officers believe a Facebook page belonging to someone named Cedric Ford who lists his place of work as Excel Industries was that of the shooter. The page shows images of guns along with what look like family photos. Reuters was not able to independently confirm the authenticity of the Facebook page.

"There were some things that triggered this particular individual," Walton said, declining to provide more details.