WICHITA, Kansas – The man law enforcement officers have said opened fire inside the Excel Industries plant in Hesston was identified Friday morning by Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton as Cedric Ford.
Ford was a painter at Excel, according to his Facebook page and lived in Newton. Ford also has ties from Miami, Florida.
A photo posted on his page on February 15, 2016 shows Ford holding what appears to be a semi-automatic rifle. Another photo, posted on January 30, shows him seated behind the steering wheel of a car with a semi-automatic handgun on his right thigh. Numerous other photos show Ford posing with or showing young children. A video posted on Ford’s Facebook page on September 20, 2015 appears to show him firing the same semi-automatic rifle.
In checking Ford’s criminal background, KSN News learned he was arrested in 2004 for grand theft and burglary. He pleaded guilty to both charges. 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.
One of Ford’s co-workers, Matt Jarrell, said he would never have believed Ford was capable of shooting so many people.
“No, not in a million years,” said Jerrell. “He was a mellow guy, he had a family, I mean he was telling me about going to the zoo for the first time in his life and seeing all the animals and just being in awe by that. Little things we take for granted, all the time. Or, we growin’ up seein’ this guy was touched, just going to the zoo. Little things like that, he never came off being a bad guy, and he was someone I could talk to about anything, and like I try to keep my Facebook, whatever and keep that away from work and keep that separated. He was actually one of the very few individuals that I had on my Facebook. He was one of my friends.”