Kansas Factory Shooter served with protection order right before attacks

Photo: KSN / Avery Anderson

HESSTON, Kan. – Authorities have identified a man who opened fire on the central Kansas factory where he worked, killing three people and wounding many others, as 38-year-old Cedric Ford.

Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton said Friday that Ford was served with a protection from abuse order about 90 minutes before the attacks began Thursday evening.

He says Ford shot and wounded three people before storming the Excel Industries lawnmower parts factory in Hesston and shooting 15 others, killing three of them. A police officer killed Ford during an exchange of gunfire.

Public records show that Ford has several previous offenses in Florida over the last decade, including burglary, grand theft and fleeing from an officer. Online records show he was released from the custody of the Florida Department of Corrections in February 2007.

In Kansas, he had a misdemeanor conviction in a 2008 fighting or brawling case and various traffic violations from 2014 and 2015.

Photos: Workplace shooting in Kansas

KSN_TV report on Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton’s press conference from Friday morning:

“I want to give you a briefing, and show you on the map how this unfolded yesterday afternoon.

At around 5:00, 911 took a call of a shooting victim located here — this will be the first one — which is at about Meridian and 12th, in that area.

A man driving with his two children was shot. He got shot in the shoulder.

A second car coming this way was also shot at. She did not get hit, by a miracle. It just missed her. Went through the windshield.

Officers responded within three minutes. As they are there, another report comes in over here at number two, which is about the old 81 (highway) and 36, close to Meridian. The report is another person is shot.

What happened at this location is the shooter went head-on into the oncoming traffic. Both vehicles went on into the ditch. The shooter was getting out of his car, the driver was getting out of his car and the shooter shoots that driver. The shooter then takes that victim’s car, travels on up here to where Excel is. Once he gets to Excel, he goes to the northeast section of the building, exits, and shoots an individual that was in the parking not.

He enters the doors at the northeast corner of the building and goes inside.

The sheriff’s deputy pulls into the parking lot and reports he is being fired upon. The deputy was not hurt. The shooter then goes into the building, and at that point, shoots 14 more people. Three of those were fatalities.

A Hesston police officer responds, goes into where the shooting is occurring and meets the shooter toward the front office area of Excel. They exchange fire. The Hesston police officer shoots and kills – and this is his name; Cedic Larry Keith Ford. A 38-year-old man.

Cedric was armed with an assault rifle and automatic pistol. Mr. Ford, who was residing in Newton, Kansas, had been surveyed PFA — a protection order, at 3:30 p.m. that afternoon.

At 3:30 p.m. he gets served. A t 5:00 p.m., we have the first shooting.

Currently, we have 14 people in various hospitals — Newton Medical Center, Wesley and St. Francis. Those conditions range from stable to critical and one going into surgery as we speak.

Involved in this operation is a number of agencies. KBI is currently doing the current scene investigation at Excel. FBI is here doing numerous interviews. ATF is here to help us with the guns and weapons.

Again, this is a tragic event for the City of Hesston and Harvey County. We are going to get through this. We’re going to do it right. We’re going to make sure this investigation is concluded.

We have jobs to do. People have been tasked to do their jobs. They will do their jobs, and we will take care of ourselves later.

At this time, Excel Industries CEO Paul Mullet approached the podium:

“I am Paul Mullet, CEO of Excel and I’ve got a statement I would like to read and I have copies for everyone.

The Excel family is deeply saddened by the horrific event that occurred yesterday. Our hearts go out to our employees and their families during this tragedy.

Our first priority has been and will remain the safety and wellness of our employees.

We are fully cooperating with the law enforcement agencies and the Red Cross.

Our internal teams are fully engaged in crisis management.

We are thankful for all of the support we are receiving during this very difficult situation.

Thank you for your concern. That is all I have at this time.

Sheriff Walton then returned to the podium:

“Notification has been made for all of those that have been deceased. Those names will be released later when I get the final coroner’s report. That could be later today or tomorrow.”

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