It is uncommon to hear of Blacks committing acts of mass shootings at workplaces. That changed when Cedric Ford, 38, a father of two, killed three people and injured another 14 in a tragic display of workplace violence. The incident occurred on Thursday at the Excel Industries, a manufacturer of lawn mowers. According to police, Ford clocked into his shift as normal as a painter in the plant located in Hesston, Kansas. He left the plant hours later and returned with a high-powered rifle and handgun.
Witnesses have stated that Ford pulled into the parking lot in a red van and shot a person before he ran into the building. He went to at least four areas in the building and started shooting. Descriptions of Ford vary as a person who was struggling with mental issues to others stating he was a nice guy who started the day normally. One worker at the plant stated that Ford was known to have some mental health issues and was being teased by some people at the plant.
Ford’s rampage started when he carjacked and shot a man, stealing the vehicle he used during the shooting. Witnesses at the plant have stated that Ford rushed into the production area and opened fire on workers, creating chaos as people ran for their lives. Among the 14 shot, 10 have critical injuries and are being treated at a local hospital.
“Gunfire was exchanged and law enforcement shot and killed the shooter. The shooter was actively firing at any target. This is a horrible situation — just terrible, terrible. There are a lot of shot victims. This is just a horrible incident that happened here,” said Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton.
Police have not released an official motive for the shooting but the community is shocked. Ford moved to Kansas from Broward County, Florida, to start a new life after several encounters with law enforcement. He had previous convictions for burglary, grand theft and prowling while in Florida.