Beheading suspect was recently fired, Oklahoma police say

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(CNN) — A man suspected of beheading a woman and stabbing another worker at an Oklahoma food plant was fired right before the attack, police said Friday.

Alton Alexander Nolen, 30, was terminated from his job at Vaughan Foods processing plant just before the rampage Thursday afternoon in Moore, Oklahoma, just outside Oklahoma City, said Sgt. Jeremy Lewis of the Moore Police Department.

After “he was terminated, he drove to the front of the business, running into a vehicle, exited his vehicle, entered the business, where he encountered the first victim, Colleen Hufford, 54, and began assaulting her with a knife. He did kill Colleen and he did sever her head.”

A second woman, identified as 43-year-old Traci Johnson, survived the attack, thanks to the intervention of another co-worker — the company’s chief operating officer Mark Vaughan, an Oklahoma County reserve deputy — who shot and wounded Nolen.

Johnson was hospitalized in stable condition with “numerous knife wounds,” according to police.

Nolen was shot twice and was also hospitalized in stable condition.

“This off-duty deputy definitely saved Traci’s life,” Lewis said. “This was not going to stop if he didn’t stop it. He’s obviously a hero in this situation. It’s very tragic that someone did lose their life, but it could have gotten a lot worse. This guy was definitely not going to stop. He didn’t stop until he was shot.”

Nolen recently had been trying to convert co-workers to Islam, Lewis said.

Moore police have asked the FBI to help investigate the man’s background.

“Due to the manner of death and the statement of co-workers and other initial information that investigators have gathered, we requested the assistance of the FBI in conducting a background investigation into Nolen.”

Earlier Friday, U.S. law enforcement officials said there were no indication the attack was linked to terrorism.

“We are shocked and deeply saddened by the events,” Vaughan Foods spokeswoman Danielle Katcher said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of the team member we lost and all those affected, ” Katcher added.

The attack appeared to be random. Lewis said the two victims were simply in Nolen’s way when he entered the building. “He wasn’t targeting anyone, wasn’t going specifically after them. It appears they were just in his way as he came in.”

Authorities were still interviewing witnesses Friday. Police said they did not yet have information on Nolen’s background. They also have not yet said what charges Nolen might be facing.

15 comments

  • Louis the 14th

    Just workplace violence. Islam had nothing to do with it. Just like Fort Hood, just workplace violence. Nothing to do with Islam. Just workplace violence. MSNBC and the like (Huffington Post) will fail to mention the Islam connection.
    Just workplace violence.

  • Louis the 14th

    Politics? Face reality! Islamic zealots and Nazis are here. This ” man ” was a recent convert to Islam and tried to convert others. Ask the Yazidi’s about this!!!!

  • Louis the 14th

    What?? Better be a (sic) joke!!! You sound like ISIS (ISIL) material. Go to your local mosque and I’m sure you’ll find someone who will recruit you.

  • Bill

    Sympathy for firing some one?!?!? Really?!?!? People get fired for a reason, having a job is not a right, if your not doing your job you get fired. A job isn’t like a public school education, you have to do more than just show up to make it. You must be the type of person that brings joy to a supervisor when they get to fire you.

  • Richard Reeves

    Another Muslim Radical Murderer that we allow to live in the United States. Send all of these Muslims home. What a big big mistake the United States have made allowing these murderers to live here and they advertise what they are going to do. Take the thug out of the hospital and hang him now and save all the money it will take listening to all the Al Sharptons saying what a poor misunderstood man he was.

  • LEOPOLD THE IV

    It is the evil that has made this man behead a real person. Most converts and felons attach themselves to said religion becuase it welcomes their fustration and allows them to commit such crime and promise them unadulterated access to the other world that awaits them. I’m afraid that he will be searing and not meating any virginian girls. Start the coals and get them red hot for your eternal damnation with your cohorts. LOL

  • buttcrunchfever

    we need to wake up, we are NOT at war with terrorist, we are at war with ISLAM!! READ THE QURAN!! get knowledgeable about your enemy!

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