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Hesston Factory Shooting Suspect Identified

The exterior of Excel Industries, a manufacturing plant that employs about 1,000 people. (Photo from Nadya Faulx, KMUW Radio)

UPDATE: Multiple news sources are reporting that Cedric Larry Ford, a painter at Excel Industries in Hesston, Kansas, is the suspected gunman who's accused of opening fire on co-workers before he was fatally shot. Ford was reportedly served with a protection-from-abuse order shortly before the fatal shootings. He's suspected of killing three people and injuring 14 others before the rampage ended. Authorities have ended a standoff at Ford's home in Newton. Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton said authorities believed the roommate of the suspect was inside the home. A spokeswoman for the city of Newton said the standoff ended and no one else was found in the home. The injured include 10 people who were reported to be in critical condition late Thursday.

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Sheriff: Gunman, 3 Others Dead After Shootings in Hesston

HESSTON, Kan. (AP) — A sheriff says four people, including a gunman, are dead after a series of shootings in south-central Kansas. Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton gave the updated death count at a news conference Thursday night. Walton says all the dead were shot inside Excel Industries, which makes lawn mower products, in Hesston. He says a law enforcement officer, one of the first responding to the scene, killed the suspect, who was an employee. The sheriff says 14 people were injured in the attacks, which took place at four locations. Meanwhile, law enforcement officers have surrounded the suspect's home in Newton. Authorities say the suspect's roommate is inside. A spokeswoman for the city of Newton says when officers arrived, they heard loud music blaring from the home and no one answered the door. The nearby Newton Medical Center has been locked down since, with people not allowed to enter or leave.

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Authorities say a mass shooting has taken place at a business in the south-central Kansas town of Hesston, where lawn mower products are manufactured. A Harvey County sheriff's dispatcher says the shooting occurred late this (THUR) afternoon at Excel Industries. Authorities are still at the scene tonight (THUR). Hesston is a community of about 3,700 residents about 35 miles north of Wichita. TV news footage showed a large law enforcement presence at the business, which manufactures Hustler and Big Dog mowing equipment.  Several people have been killed and dozens have been injured.  

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Here's the latest from the Associated Press:

HESSTON, Kan. (AP) — The Latest on the attacks in south-central Kansas including at a business in Hesston (all times local):
7:50 p.m.
An employee of the Kansas company where a gunman opened fire says he was in the plant during the shooting when he heard people yelling to get out of the building.
Harvey County authorities say up to four people may have been killed and up to 20 injured in the shooting Thursday at Excel Industries in Hesston.
Martin Espinoza told The Associated Press he heard a popping sound and then saw the shooter, who Espinoza says was a co-worker.
Espinoza says the shooter pointed a gun at him and pulled the trigger, but the gun was empty. He says at that point, the shooter got a different gun and Martin took off running.
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7:15 p.m.
A sheriff in south-central Kansas says authorities "don't have a lot of answers" in connection to a series of attacks that included a shooting at a business in Hesston.
Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton spoke during a news conference Thursday evening, calling the shooting earlier in the day at Excel Industries "just a horrible incident." Walton says, "There's going to be a lot of sad people before this is over."
He says the sheriff's office is investigating the attacks along with the FBI and Kansas Bureau of Investigation.
Walton says it's possible "as many" as three to four people are dead, including a suspect. He says the suspect was an Excel employee and was shot and killed.
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6:45 p.m.
Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton says it's possible "as many" as three to four people are dead, including a suspect, and up to 20 people may be injured after a series of attacks in Hesston, Kansas.
Walton said at a news conference Thursday evening that there are "a number of crime scenes involved," including the Excel Industries plant where dispatchers earlier said they were responding to a shooting.
Walton says the suspect was an Excel employee. He says the suspect was shot and killed.
Walton says the scene at Excel Industries has been secured.
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6:25 p.m.
A college near a Kansas company where authorities are responding to a shooting has been locked down.
Jim Mason, Hesston College's director of facilities, says faculty and staff are being kept indoors as a precaution until it's clear a suspect is in custody. The lockdown began at about 5:20 p.m. Thursday.
Hesston is a few blocks from the Excel Industries plant where a Harvey County sheriff's dispatcher says a shooting occurred.
Hesston College has about 450 students and is affiliated with the Mennonite Church USA.
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6:15 p.m.
Authorities say they have responded to a shooting at a business that makes lawn mower products in south-central Kansas.
A Harvey County sheriff's dispatcher says the shooting occurred Thursday afternoon at Excel Industries in Hesston. The dispatcher, who would not give her name, said authorities were still at the scene Thursday evening.
Hesston is a community of about 3,700 residents about 35 miles north of Wichita.
KSN-TV cameras showed a large law enforcement presence at the facility and at least one person being loaded into an ambulance.

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