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Here's What You Need To Know About Hesston, Kansas

HESSTON, Kan. (CBSNewYork) -- Authorities said four to seven people were killed late Thursday in a shooting at a business in south-central Kansas that makes lawn mower products.  Witnesses told CBS affiliate KWCH-TV that the shooter was Cedric Ford, an employee at Excel Industries.

Here's what you need to know about Hesston:

  • The Mayor of Hesston is David K. Kauffman. He was elected to the city council in 2007, and served a 4-year term before being elected by the council to the position of council president. He took over the position of mayor when the former mayor resigned. Kauffman was elected to serve an additional term in 2013.
  • Hesston is home to Hesston College, which is a college of the Mennonite Church USA. The school lists its values as excellence, Christian Community, culture, relationships, creativity, stewardship, joy, transparency, and caring. The school has total enrollment of 409 students, and was placed on lockdown following reports of the shooting.
  • Nearly 20 percent of the population of Hesston works in "production, transportation, and material moving occupations." Among the crime scenes in Thursday's shooting was Excel Industries. Excel describes itself as "a leading manufacturer of turf care products," and a "proud producer of the Hustler Turf Equipment and BigDog mower Company product lines."
  • Hesston is served by the Hesston Police Department. The chief of police is Doug Schroeder. The department says its mission is, "to provide services to citizens to maintain order, preserve property and protect the lives and rights of citizens, thereby improving the quality of life. In accomplishing our mission we strive to achieve the highest degree of ethical conduct at all times."


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