Latest: Sheriff says 4 dead, 14 hurt in Kansas shootings


HESSTON, Kan. (AP) — The Latest on the attacks in south-central Kansas including at a business in Hesston (all times local):

9 p.m.

A sheriff says four people, including a gunman, are dead after a series of shootings in south-central Kansas.

Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton gave the updated death count at a news conference Thursday night.

Walton says all the dead were shot inside Excel Industries, which makes lawn mower products, in Hesston. He says law enforcement killed the suspect, who was an employee.

He says 14 people were injured in the attacks, which took place at four locations.

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8:00 p.m.

A sheriff says four to seven people, including a gunman, are dead after a series of shootings in south-central Kansas.

Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton tells KAKE-TV “anywhere from four to seven” people were killed and between 20 to 30 people were shot Thursday.

Walton says the attacks occurred at a plant that manufactures lawn mower products, a parking lot outside the plant and two other locations. Walton says the attacks were connected and that the suspect traveled between the sites and fired from his car.

Walton says a law enforcement officer killed the suspect, who was or had been an employee of Excel Industries. The suspect wasn’t immediately identified.

Walton says he doesn’t know if the man was still working there or had been fired.

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7:50 p.m.

An employee of the Kansas company where a gunman opened fire says he was in the plant during the shooting when he heard people yelling to get out of the building.

Harvey County authorities say up to four people may have been killed and up to 20 injured in the shooting Thursday at Excel Industries in Hesston.

Martin Espinoza told The Associated Press he heard a popping sound and then saw the shooter, who Espinoza says was a co-worker.

Espinoza says the shooter pointed a gun at him and pulled the trigger, but the gun was empty. He says at that point, the shooter got a different gun and Martin took off running.

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7:15 p.m.

A sheriff in south-central Kansas says authorities “don’t have a lot of answers” in connection to a series of attacks that included a shooting at a business in Hesston.

Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton spoke during a news conference Thursday evening, calling the shooting earlier in the day at Excel Industries “just a horrible incident.” Walton says, “There’s going to be a lot of sad people before this is over.”

He says the sheriff’s office is investigating the attacks along with the FBI and Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

Walton says it’s possible “as many” as three to four people are dead, including a suspect. He says the suspect was an Excel employee and was shot and killed.

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6:45 p.m.

Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton says it’s possible “as many” as three to four people are dead, including a suspect, and up to 20 people may be injured after a series of attacks in Hesston, Kansas.

Walton said at a news conference Thursday evening that there are “a number of crime scenes involved,” including the Excel Industries plant where dispatchers earlier said they were responding to a shooting.

Walton says the suspect was an Excel employee. He says the suspect was shot and killed.

Walton says the scene at Excel Industries has been secured.

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6:25 p.m.

A college near a Kansas company where authorities are responding to a shooting has been locked down.

Jim Mason, Hesston College’s director of facilities, says faculty and staff are being kept indoors as a precaution until it’s clear a suspect is in custody. The lockdown began at about 5:20 p.m. Thursday.

Hesston is a few blocks from the Excel Industries plant where a Harvey County sheriff’s dispatcher says a shooting occurred.

Hesston College has about 450 students and is affiliated with the Mennonite Church USA.

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6:15 p.m.

Authorities say they have responded to a shooting at a business that makes lawn mower products in south-central Kansas.

A Harvey County sheriff’s dispatcher says the shooting occurred Thursday afternoon at Excel Industries in Hesston. The dispatcher, who would not give her name, said authorities were still at the scene Thursday evening.

Hesston is a community of about 3,700 residents about 35 miles north of Wichita.

KSN-TV cameras showed a large law enforcement presence at the facility and at least one person being loaded into an ambulance.

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