A shooting event that broke out early Thursday evening in Central Kansas has resulted in several people dead with dozens of others injured. The shooting took place at a workplace and the gunman has been killed, local news outlet KWCH reports.
In a case that is still developing, the Witchita Eagle reports that Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton confirmed to reporters that officers took down 38-year-old Cedric Ford, an employee at Excel Industries in Hesston, Kan., which is 35 miles north of Witchita.
Preliminary reports stated that between four and seven people were killed and around 20 persons injured. New reports suggest that as many as 30 could be injured. Sheriff Walton told reporters at a news conference that he could not provide an exact number.
From the Witchita Eagle:
“This is just a horrible incident here,” he said. “It’s going to be a lot of sad people before this is all over.”
The shooting at Excel Industries was reported shortly after 5 p.m. Thursday, a Harvey County dispatcher said.
Walton later confirmed that a suspect, an employee at the turf care products manufacturer, was shot and killed by law enforcement officers between 5:30 and 5:45 p.m. The shooter, a Harvey County resident, was armed with a long rifle and a handgun, according to Walton.
Via Christi Hospital St. Francis in Wichita received seven victims from the shooting, according to a spokeswoman. She said that five victims were in serious condition and two were in fair condition.
As authorities scramble to secure up to four crime scenes and restore calm to the region, details about Ford continue to emerge. KWCH reported that Ford, a resident of Newton, listed his profession as a painter on his Facebook page. The station also obtained video of Ford from the social network site which showed him brandishing firearms.
Around 8:00 PM local time, the station reported that SWAT officers stormed what is believed to be the home of Ford and ordered the occupants to come outside with their hands raised.
The Newton Medical Center was put on lockdown due to the police activity. The Excel Industries facility will be closed Friday.
As this story develops, we’ll return with updates.