FBI looking into Oklahoma beheadingat food plant

Associated Press

Oklahoma City — A man fired from an Oklahoma food processing plant beheaded a woman with a knife and was attacking another worker when he was shot and wounded by a company official, police said Friday.

Moore Police Sgt. Jeremy Lewis says police are waiting until the 30-year-old man is conscious to arrest him in Thursday's attack and have asked the FBI to help investigate after co-workers at Vaughan Foods told authorities that he recently started trying to convert several employees to Islam.

Alton Nolen, of Moore, Okla is pictured in a March 2013 photo provided by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. Prison records indicate that Nolen, the suspect in the beheading of a co-worker at an Oklahoma food processing plant on Thursdayhad spent time in prison and was on probation for assaulting a police officer.

The man, whom the Associated Press is not naming because he has not been charged, is accused of stabbing Colleen Hufford, 54, severing her head, Lewis said.

"Yes, she was beheaded," Lewis told the Associated Press before a Friday news conference.

Lewis said the man then stabbed Traci Johnson, 43, a number of times before being shot by Mark Vaughan, a reserve sheriff's deputy and the company's chief operating officer.

"This was not going to stop if he didn't stop it. It could have gotten a lot worse," said Lewis, who called Vaughan a hero and credited the reserve officer with saving the second woman's life.

Employees and friends console each other after the attack at Vaughn Foods in Oklahoma.

Lewis said that Moore police have asked the FBI to aid in the investigation and look into the man's background because of the nature of the attack, which comes in the wake of a series of videotaped beheadings by Islamic State militants.

Johnson and the suspect were hospitalized and in stable condition Friday, Lewis said. He does not yet know what charges will be filed.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections records show the suspect has multiple, apparently religious tattoos, including one referencing Jesus and one in Arabic that means "peace be with you."

Lewis said the suspect had been fired in a building that houses the company's human resources office, then immediately drove to the entrance of the business. Lewis said he didn't know why the man was fired.

A Vaughan spokeswoman said the company was "shocked and deeply saddened" by the attack.

According to Moore City Manager Steve Eddy, the knife recovered at the scene is the same type used on the production floor of the plant, where the suspect worked.

Lewis told reporters that it appeared the suspect had attacked both women at random.

Los Angeles Times contributed.