Three people were killed and another 14 injured Thursday after a 38-year-old man in Hesston, Kan., opened fire in his workplace and the surrounding area.
The shooter, identified by the Harvey County Sheriff as Cedric Ford, shot three people before entering Excel Industries – the mowing equipment manufacturer he was employed by – and shot another 14 people, three of whom were killed.
“I want to offer my sincere sympathy and condolences to all the family members who have someone tied into this horrible tragic event that happened in Newton and in Hesston,” Sheriff T. Walton said. “I’m very sorry this happened.”
On Friday, 14 people remained in three different hospitals, with conditions ranging from stable to critical, the sheriff said.
Roughly 9 percent of all workplace fatalities were homicides in 2014, the most recent year for which data is available.
In fact, about 7 percent of all workplace fatalities are the result of intentional homicide, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries.
On its company Facebook page Friday, Hustler Turf Equipment – the brand Excel manufactured at its Hesston facility – wrote, “As prayers and words of comfort continue to come in from across the country and around the world, from our community, friends, strangers, suppliers, dealers, distributors, competitors and many others, we are humbled by the outpouring of support.”
Ford entered the northeast section of Excel and shot 14 people before a Hesston police officer arrived on scene and exchanged fire with him. The officer shot and killed Ford, who was carrying an assault rifle and an automatic pistol.
Ford, who lived in nearby Newton, Kan., had been served a Protection from Abuse Order at 3:30 p.m. Thursday. The shootings began at 5 p.m.
“This is a tragic event for the city of Hesston and Harvey County,” Walton said.