via Daily Mail:
As many as seven people have been shot dead and 20 wounded after a man opened fire on his workplace in Kansas, police said. Father-of-two Cedric Ford, 38, clocked in to work as a painter at lawn-mower manufacture firm Excel Industries in Hesston, Kansas, on Thursday morning.
But hours later he left – and returned with a high-powered rifle, police said. He allegedly gunned down victims in four or five locations across Hesston, 35 miles north of Wichita, before returning to Excel Industries at 5pm on Thursday afternoon. Witnesses at the office building, 35 miles north of Wichita, said Ford pulled up outside in a red van, shot somebody in the parking lot, then ran in.
Between four and seven people were shot dead and 20 to 30 injured before Ford was gunned down by police, sheriffs told a press conference. One worker told KAKE News that Ford, of Newton, Kansas, had ‘mental issues’ and was ‘being teased a little bit’ when he worked at Excel.
However, another said ‘he was the nicest guy I know’ and that they had been chatting as normal when they walked in the plant to clock in this morning.
Ford, a father-of-two, has a history of burglary convictions, grand theft, and prowling. He recently moved to Kansas from Broward County, Florida, with his wife or girlfriend and their son and daughter. His Facebook page is littered with pictures of Ford holding high-powered rifles. There is also a video of Ford shooting aimlessly into a field.
Police are now stationed outside Ford’s home on Wagon Wheel Drive in Newton calling on the people inside to come out with their hands up.
A worker at the firm, who told KAKE News he lived next-door to the shooter, said Ford had been subjected to bullying at work.
‘The talk around the plant was he had some mental issues. He was being teased a little bit.
‘He was just unloading on everybody. As people were walking out he was firing on them.’
Another staff member told a different story, saying Ford was his ‘partner’ at work and ‘the nicest guy I know’.
‘We were talking as we walked in to clock in together today,’ the staff member told CBS.
‘He just got a new truck, he came to work in that new truck today, we were talking about that.
‘And the odd thing is he came back in a different truck.’
He added: ‘It was unreal, I can’t believe it was him.’
And one employee called Marty described to KAKE how Ford was brandishing a gun as he chased workers then opened fire.
‘He just started spraying everybody in the production area,’ Marty told the station.
‘I heard pop, pop, pop.’
‘There are a lot of shot victims,’ Harvey County Sheriff T Walton told reporters in a press conference.
‘This is just a horrible incident that happened here.’
Police will be meeting with relatives of the victims at a local high school. An exact death toll will be released at a press conference later in the night. Newtown Medical Center is on lockdown due to police activity in the area, according to KWCH.
Kansas governor Sam Brownback said: ‘Please send your thoughts and prayers to the people of Hesston tonight.’
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