Kansas mass shooting: three killed in factory rampage

Former employee opens fire on workers before being shot dead by police

(Image credit: Facebook/Cedric Ford)

A former employee of a Kansas lawn supply factory has gone on a shooting spree, killing three people and wounding at least 14 others before being shot dead by police.

Local media identified the gunman as Cedric Ford, 38, who had posted photos of himself on Facebook holding an automatic rifle and a pistol before he began shooting yesterday afternoon.

The local sheriff told reporters there were four or five possible crime scenes, including the Excel Industries factory in Hesston, where around 150 people were working.

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"Gunfire was exchanged… and law enforcement shot and killed the shooter," Sheriff T Walton told reporters. "The shooter was actively firing at any target… This is a horrible situation; just terrible, terrible."

One member of staff, who was on a break outside the building when the gunman arrived, told the Hesston Reporter: "I saw the shooter get out of his truck, shoot someone down and go into the building."

Ford reportedly shot another person while driving to the factory.

"There's so many crime scenes and so many people," said the sheriff. "I understand how hard it is for everybody… I don't have a lot of answers. There are a lot of shot victims. Right now, it all looks random."

Another witness, who works in a weld shop at the plant, said he thought he was hearing explosions. "I see a mob of people just running out and then, 'Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop,'" he said.

According to the Gun Violence Archive website, the attack takes the death toll from US mass shootings in the first two months of 2016 to 52.

Last year, 367 people throughout the US died in mass shootings, which are defined by the FBI as being "four or more shot and/or killed in a single event, at the same general time and location, not including the shooter".

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