Investigations Continue In Kansas Mass Shooting
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
There are new details this afternoon about what happened just before a Kansas man went on a shooting rampage yesterday, killing three people. Police have identified the shooter as Cedric Larry Ford. He was still firing inside his workplace when he was shot and killed by police. Abigail Wilson of member station KMUW has more.
ABIGAIL WILSON, BYLINE: It started with what's called a protection from abuse order. Police served Cedric Ford with that at his workplace, about 35 miles north of Wichita. He worked at Excel Industries, which makes lawnmower parts in the town of Hesston. According to the timeline from law enforcement, Ford then abruptly left the plant, returning 90 minutes later to open fire on his coworkers. On his way back to work, he shot at two vehicles, wounding one man. Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton says that Ford acted upset when he was served with the order.
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T. WALTON: He didn't display anything that was outrageous. He just displayed - you know, he was a little upset that he was getting this order.
WILSON: A protection from abuse order is similar to a restraining order in that it seeks to limit contact between victims and their accused abusers. Ford's order was filed in neighboring Sedgwick County, where his alleged victim lives. Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett says that serving protection orders at work is standard practice.
MARC BENNETT: The shift here is 9 to 5. They're going to try to find where they're going to be from 9 to 5. And if anybody's working during the day, yeah, serving them at work is not an uncommon thing.
WILSON: Cedric Ford had an assault weapon and a pistol with him when he was shot and killed by police. He also had a criminal past, including arrests for burglary and grand theft. With his criminal history in mind, some here question why he had access to weapons following the protection order. District Attorney Bennett says that it's not standard practice to look for weapons when a protection from abuse order is served.
BENNETT: It's not a crime that's being investigated; it's a civil action.
WILSON: Kathy Thomas was at Casey's General Store across the street from Excel Industries, where her husband also works. She says she saw nothing in Ford's behavior that would have led her to believe he was dangerous.
KATHY THOMAS: He was a regular customer who came in here, was always polite and nice.
WILSON: Police say they believe Ford fired at random while he was returning to his workplace. Victims' names will be released in the coming days. For NPR News, I'm Abigail Wilson in Wichita. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.