A 30-year-old woman was among 3 victims gunned down by a mentally unstable employee at a Kansas lawn mower manufacturing plant on Thursday.
- Renee Benjamin was the only woman killed by Cedric Ford, 38, a painter at Excel Industries in Hesston, Kansas.
A friend remembered Benjamin on Facebook.
“Rest in peace Renee Benjamin may the good die young! I will never forget this day u were so happy u were surrounded by 3 cute girls lol #HesstonShooting#Ur in heaven now boo!”
Police identified the other 2 people killed as Joshua Higbee, 31, and Brian Sadowsky, 44.
14 others were wounded in the mass shooting that spanned several miles and multiple crime scenes. Five of the injured are in critical condition.
The shooting rampage began about 90 minutes after a sheriff arrived at the plant and served Ford with a protective order filed by his girlfriend.
Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton told reporters protective orders are typically served “because there’s some type of violence in a relationship.”
The father-of-2 left work after co-workers “teased him a little bit,” according to a co-worker.
Armed with a high powered rifle and a pistol, Ford drove back to work. Several miles away from the plant, the gunman opened fire from his car, hitting a man driving with his 2 children. The children were unharmed. The driver was struck in the shoulder.
A few minutes later, Ford drove into oncoming traffic, running another car off the road and into a ditch. He got out of his car and shot the driver before stealing the victim’s truck.
Ford returned to Excel Industries, where he shot a woman in a car before entering the facility.
Once inside the facility, he chased co-workers through the plant, firing his assault rifle indiscriminately. The three fatalities were among 14 victims shot inside the plant.
Hesston Police Chief Doug Schroeder was the first officer to respond to the scene of the mass shooting. He engaged Ford near the paint room. They exchanged gunfire and Ford was shot dead.
Chief Schroeder is being hailed as a hero. He received a congratulatory phone call from the White House.