PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – The man suspected of killing three people at the Kansas factory where he worked had an extensive criminal record in South Florida and a Grim Reaper tattoo on his left arm, records obtained Friday by Local 10 News show.
Authorities said Cedric Ford, 38, shot and wounded two people Thursday while driving to Excel Industries in the small Kansas town of Hesston. He then shot and killed three people at the lawnmower-parts factory before being shot and killed by an officer.
Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton said Hesston Police Chief Doug Schroeder, who fatally shot Ford, was a "tremendous hero" because dozens more people were still in the factory and the "shooter wasn't done by any means."
"The only reason he stopped shooting is because that officer stopped the shooter," Walton said.
Ford, who a co-worker said was a second-shift painter at Excel, also spent considerable time in Florida. Ford's Facebook page said he was from Miami, and he has an extensive criminal record in Broward County.
In 2004, Ford committed burglary and grand theft. In 2000, he was charged with fleeing and eluding police. In 1997, he was caught with burglary tools while prowling.
Ford's mother and sister live together at an apartment in Homestead. Local 10 News reporter Todd Tongen went to the apartment to speak with them about Ford, but they didn't answer the door.
"Do you have anything you'd like to say?" Tongen asked.
"No, not at this time," a woman said from behind the door.
A picture and video of Ford firing an assault rifle were posted on his Facebook page months ago.
Ford's criminal record in Harvey County included a misdemeanor conviction in 2008 for fighting and various traffic violations from 2014 and 2015.
Ford was required to take an anger-management class in Harvey County in 2008 after he was convicted of disorderly conduct. Court records show that he completed the course.
Walton said his office served Ford with a protective order Thursday, shortly before the first shooting was reported. He said such orders are usually filed because there's some type of violence in a relationship. He did not disclose the nature of the relationship in question.
When the judge issued a temporary order Feb. 5, he filed it against Cedric Ford and listed his address as that of the Excel plant. The woman said in her request that he usually arrived at the Excel plant about 2 p.m. on weekdays, Sedgwick County court records show.
In her petition, the woman said she was in fear of "imminent bodily injury or beating."
"Cedric and I were verbally fighting. It became physical by him pushing me then grabbing me. He placed me in a chokehold from behind - I couldn't breathe," she said in the petition for the order. "He then got me to ground while choking me -- finally releasing me."
"He is an alcoholic, violent, depressed," she wrote in the petition. "It's my belief he's in desperate need of medical and psychological help."