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Excel Industries In Hesston To Reopen Thursday

Abigail Wilson

The lawn mower plant Excel Industries in Hesston is reopening. The plant has been closed since a mass shooting which happened there on Feb. 25. A gunman shot and killed three people and wounded 14 others before he was killed by the chief of police.

Excel is opening the doors of the plant to employees for a walkthrough first and then for work on Thursday.

The shooter, Cedric Ford, worked in paint at the company. He is believed to have wildly reacted to a protection from abuse order which a woman had filed against him due to violent behavior toward her. The town of 3700 has been trying to heal and has come together under the slogan "We are Hesston strong."

Hesston Police Chief Doug Schroeder made his first statement since he burst into the plant without backup and shot and killed Ford. Schroeder said that he was not a hero and any of the other five officers in Hesston would have done what he did.

Schroeder is credited with saving many lives: There were 300 employees working second shift when the shootings happened.


Aileen LeBlanc is news director at KMUW. Follow her on Twitter @Aileen_LeBlanc.

To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.