So. Fla. man ID'd as Kansas workplace gunman

Posted at 10:35 AM, Feb 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-26 10:35:57-05

Authorities have identified a man who opened fire on the central Kansas factory where he worked, killing three people and wounding many others, as 38-year-old Cedric Ford -- a South Florida man with a lengthy criminal record.

Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton said at a Friday morning briefing that Ford was served with a protection from abuse order about 90 minutes before the attacks began Thursday evening.

He said Ford shot two people while driving to the Excel Industries plant in Hesston where he worked and shot another person in the parking lot before going inside.

He said the man shot 14 others in the lawnmower parts factory, killing three of them, before a Hesston police officer shot him dead.

"This man was not going to stop shooting," Walton said. "The only reason he stopped shooting is because the officer shot him."

The entire incident lasted just 26 minutes — from when the gunman shot and injured a person and stole a truck, until he was shot dead by the officer shortly after 6 p.m. ET.

Walton called the officer a "tremendous hero" and said there were still 200 or 300 other people in the factory and that "the shooter wasn't done by any means." He did not identify the officer.

Public records show that Ford has several previous offenses in Florida over the last decade, including burglary, grand theft and fleeing from an officer, many of which were in Broward County. Some of the cases and arrests date as far back as 1996. Online records show he was released from the custody of the Florida Department of Corrections in February 2007.

In Kansas, he had a misdemeanor conviction in a 2008 fighting or brawling case and various traffic violations from 2014 and 2015.

Walton said Ford had been in the local jail “a couple of times before.”

Walton said that the sheriff's office served the shooter with the order at around 3:30 p.m. Thursday and that he thinks it was likely what triggered the attack, which began at around 5 p.m.

He said such orders are typically served "because there's some type of violence in a relationship," but he declined to specify the nature of the relationship in question or to disclose the attacker's name.

Ford was identified earlier on Friday based on conversations with the family members of shooting victims, NBC News reported.

According to Ford's Facebook page, he was employed as a painter at Excel Industries. NBC 6 has learned that Ford lived in Miramar.

Ford was armed with a long gun and a semi-automatic pistol during the "mass shooting," according to officials, NBC News reported.

It is unclear how much ammunition Ford had on him. Walton said FBI is doing numerous interviews and ATF is helping with guns investigation.

Story from our news partner NBC 6 Miami