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Crime and Courts

Hesston Workplace Shooter Identified

Law enforcement officials have identified the man behind Thursday’s deadly shootings in Hesston as Cedric Ford.

  

Ford, 38, was an employee at Excel Industries, a turf care products manufacturing facility. Authorities say Ford shot two people in nearby Newton and then opened fire on coworkers in the Excel building at around 5 p.m. yesterday before being shot and killed by a first responder, ending the shootout about 24 minutes after it began.

Three employees were killed, and 14 others injured, five critically. None of the victims have been named.

Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton said in a news briefing Friday that many more could have been victims had an officer not shot and killed Ford.

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Credit Abigail Wilson / KMUW
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KMUW/File photo
Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton speaks at a news briefing Friday morning.

“There were 2 to 300 more people in the building,” Walton said. “This man [Ford] was not going to stop shooting.”

Walton did not name the officer who shot and killed Ford, but said the responder was "a hero."

No possible motive has been given in the shooting. Walton said Ford had been served a Protection from Abuse Order about 90 minutes prior to the shooting and “seemed upset, but nothing greater than anybody else who gets served a PFA.”

Ford had a criminal history and “had been in my jail a couple of times before,” Walton said, though he did not elaborate.

Evidence was recovered from Ford’s home in Newton and is part of the investigation. Authorities are conducting interviews in Hesston, Newton and Wichita to piece together the full story, Walton said.

He said in his eight years as sheriff in Harvey County he’s never seen anything like this.

“I wish I wasn’t the sheriff in front of these cameras," he said, "but it has happened here."