HESSTON, Kan. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Authorities said a man who opened fire on the central Kansas factory where he worked was served with a protection from abuse order shortly before the attack.
Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton said Friday that the sheriff's office served the suspect with the order at around 3:30 p.m. Thursday and that he thinks it was likely what triggered the attack, which began about 90 minutes later.
"They said he was upset, but nothing greater than anybody else who gets served a PFA," Walton said.
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.
Officials said the suspect 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 15 others in the lawnmower parts factory, killing three of them, before a Hesston police officer shot him dead.
The gunman was later identified by CBS News as Cedric Ford.
Walton said the death toll would have been a lot worse if it weren't for the responding police officer, 1010 WINS' Steve Kastenbaum reported.
"The only reason he stopped shooting is because that officer stopped the shooter," Walton said.
Walton said Ford had been in jail several times in the past, raising questions over whether or not he owned the firearms he had in his possession.
Flags across Kansas will be half-staff on Friday.
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