HESSTON, Kan. (AP) — A county sheriff said Thursday it is possible “as many” as three to four people are dead, including a suspect, and up to 20 people may be injured after a series of shootings in south-central Kansas.

The Daily Mail has identified the shooter as 38-year-old Cedric Ford, a former employee at Excel Industries. Early reports says Ford, who may have had mental issues, was bullied by coworkers at some point.

Ford and four others are dead. Multiple others are injured.

Sheriff T. Walton said at a news conference Thursday evening there are “a number of crime scenes involved,” including the Excel Industries plant in Hesston, north of Wichita, which manufactures lawn mower products. The suspect, who Walton said was an Excel employee, was fatally shot by authorities.

The sheriff said a shooting also took place in the plant parking lot and two other locations nearby. The scene at Excel Industries has been secured, he said.

“We want to get everybody identified. We’re working on that,” Walton said.

The shooting comes less than a week after authorities say a man opened fire at several locations in Kalamazoo, Michigan, leaving six people dead and two severely wounded.

Walton said a lot was still unknown about the Kansas attacks. He did not explicitly say whether the shootings were related.

“I don’t have a lot of answers,” Walton said.

Martin Espinoza, who works at Excel, was in the plant during the shooting. 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 told The Associated Press the shooter pointed a gun at him and pulled the trigger, but the gun was empty. At that point, the shooter got a different gun and Martin took off running.

“I looked right at him and he looked right at me,” Espinoza said.

KSN-TV footage showed a large law enforcement presence at Excel Industries and at least one person being loaded into an ambulance. A college nearby was briefly locked down.

Hesston is a community of about 3,700 residents about 35 miles north of Wichita. Excel Industries was awarded the Governor’s Exporter of the Year award in 2013 from the Kansas Department of Commerce. The company manufactures Hustler and Big Dog mowing equipment and was founded in Hesston in 1960.

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.

Eileen Hawley, spokeswoman for Gov. Sam Brownback, said Brownback is being briefed by the Kansas Highway Patrol’s superintendent. She had no further information

“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 writers John Hanna in Topeka, Kansas, and Maria Fisher in Kansas City, Missouri, contributed to this report.

(Photo: Facebook)

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16 thoughts on “Shooter, Three Others Dead In Kansas Workplace Shooting

  1. Honestly on said:

    The filthy racist cave n!@@ers at that plant antagonized this man and got their ass handed to them. Mayonnaise monkeys racism will not be tolerated there will be a response. The master disgrace will be put in their place. They should have never been let out of the caves of Europe.

  2. MartinBBarn on said:

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  3. specialt757 on said:

    Someone mentioned before we have a “violence” problem in America, while I agree with that, we also have a giant list of major problems that I don’t think any one person or even a “government” can really solve. These people have to have another option, but most believe there are none. I know people don’t want to hear it, but taking prayer and religion out of schools was the beginning of our current downward spiral. People now don’t even seek God for the answers, they just look to the world which don’t care two hoots about you. The devil is busy and he comes in all shapes, sizes, and forms.
    I pray for healing for these families, no one deserves to have to go through this and it’s occurring more and more almost on a daily basis. Someone right now is planning their mass murder/suicide strategies, we just don’t know when or where, it’s frightening. They don’t care about their lives or the lives of others.

    • YESSSSSSSSSSS I agree with your thought process. My mother and dad has always preached this, and all I can do is… ***drop the mic****

      • specialt757 on said:

        Nancy I agree. Parents who walk away from their responsibilities is a major downfall for our society as a whole. I only wish that everyone would take their lives and the lives of the humans they create more seriously. And if you don’t wish the responsibilities, get yourself fixed or use birth control. Having kids is a choice that should begin well before you hop into bed, or the backseat, or floor, or behind the shed, okay jk, but you know what I mean.

    • Wow special, we share some common ground. Several times I wrote “We don’t have a gun problem, we have a violence problem.” It is very un PC (and conservative) of you to point out removing God from our schools brought us to the rubicon of moral decline. To all the people who agree with your statement, sadly vote against this belief each time they vote for democrats.

  4. Mental illness is NO JOKE, especially in the workplace, and you NEVER know what your co-worker is going through… When someone has had enough, they’ve had enough, and unfortunately no-one at home or in the workplace stepped in to see this guy really needed help, not teasing.

    We as a country need to do something about ASSAULT weapons, not personal fire-arm for safety. I’m a firearm advocate, and conceal carry due to my state, but I also go to the range 1-2 a week to keep up with my control, and hand eye coordination with my firearm, as well as my 12 gauge. If we are going to allow people to go through the hoops of obtaining a license, we must make them comply and be responsible with every bullet that is discharged through their firearm; attend safety class 1-2 a year, and make them qualify, and lastly have insurance which covers you as well as the person you UNINTENTIONALLY shoot….. any thoughts?

    • specialt757 on said:

      I agree with you Kimboo at least about the safety training and going to the range to keep your skills on point. I also think it’s really nothing that can be done when it comes to the mentally ill in everycase. At the time of a background check, everything can come back “clean”. As you pointed out when people are at their breaking point there’s really nothing you can do and people second guess themselves all the time, “if only I had spoken with him/her earlier” or “I wish I had been nicer or friendlier”. That has no barren on someone hell bent on taking innocent lives. Those fools in Kalamazoo and Charleston didn’t know a soul they killed.

  5. MartinBBarn on said:

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