Sheriff Credits ‘Hero’ Cop in Kansas Workplace Shootings With Saving Many Lives

Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton credits the actions of one Hesston police officer with ending the rampage of Cedric Ford at Excel Industries in Hesston, Kansas before more people could become Ford’s victims.

Despite the loss of four lives – the three shooting victims of gunman Cedric Ford and Ford himself – Sheriff T. Walton calls the police officer who shot and killed Cedric Ford as a “tremendous hero” who potentially saved the lives of many of the other 200 to 300 employees at Excel Industries the evening of Thursday, February 25, 2016. Ford was carrying and had used both an assault rifle and pistol in the shootings. (CBSNews.com)

First Report of Kansas Workplace Shootings: Workplace Shooting in Kansas Leaves Three Dead Including Alleged Shooter

Fourteen people were wounded as a result of being shot by Ford, three of them as Ford drove from Newton, where he resided, to Excel Industries in Hesston, where he worked. Eleven of those wounded were taken to two hospitals in Wichita, where one person is listed in critical condition, five people are listed to be in serious condition and an additional five people are listed in fair condition. Three other people that were shot by Ford were taken to a hospital in Newton; their conditions are unknown.

Sheriff Walton explained that about 90 minutes prior to the first shooting at approximately 5 p.m. on Feb. 25, 2016, his office had served a protective order to Cedric Ford. While Walton did not explain the details of the protective order, he described it as being something usually initiated by victims of domestic violence. KWCH12 obtained a copy of the protection order served to Cedric Ford, of which there is a copy in the tweet below:

Matt Jarrell, Cedric Ford’s co-worker and fellow painter at Excel Industries, reported that Ford had shown up to work for his second-shift job, but later disappeared without saying anything to Jarrell. The next time Jarrell saw Ford was when Jarrell was sitting in his truck in the Excel parking lot for a work break and saw Ford return to the business’s parking lot in a truck that was not his and shot someone in the parking lot. Jarrell sped away after witnessing that shooting.

Cedric Ford had begun his shooting spree before he reached the manufacturing company’s parking lot, having shot at three people while driving from his home in Newton to the small town of Hesston, shooting from the window of his vehicle as he drove.

Once the gunman was taken down inside Excel Industries, at about 9 p.m. EST a SWAT team stormed a home in Newton believed to be Cedric Ford’s home and ordered all occupants there to come outside.

In a report from Newsone.com were descriptions of the various posts, photos and videos on Cedric Ford’s Facebook page, ranging from images of him and his children, visits to the zoo, videos of Ford singing and dancing to hip-hop tunes interspersed with images of him with a gun or guns, sometimes shooting into empty fields.

Cedric Ford was not a stranger to law enforcement, either in Florida where he had previously lived or in Kansas. Criminal records in Florida reveal Ford had incurred criminal charges in both Broward and Miami-Dade counties including carrying a concealed weapon, fleeing from an officer and grand theft. Ford’s criminal record in Harvey County, Kansas included various traffic convictions in 2014 and 2015 and a misdemeanor conviction for fighting in 2008.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are assisting local law enforcement with the investigation.


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