Kansas mass shooting suspect had been served protection order

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Police: Kansas Shooter Was Served Order of Protection Before Attacks

(Reuters) - The man suspected of killing three people at the Kansas lawnmower factory where he worked had been served a protection order 90 minutes before his shooting spree, which also wounded 14 people, authorities said on Friday.

The suspect, identified as Cedric Ford, was armed with a .223-caliber assault-style rifle and a pistol as he fired randomly at coworkers over 26 minutes on Thursday.

See more images of the alleged shooter and from the scene:

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Shooting in Hesston, Kansas
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Kansas mass shooting suspect had been served protection order
This 2004 arrest photo made available by the Broward County Sheriff's Office shows Cedric Larry Ford. Ford, an employee at Excel Industries in Hesson, Kansas, opened fire at the company on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016. (Broward County Sheriff's Office via AP)
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback arrives at City Hall in Hesston, Kan., Friday, Feb. 26, 2016. Brownback wanted to thank law enforcement for this handling of Thursday's shooting at Excel Industries. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
President Barack Obama pauses as he comments about the shooting in Hesston, Kansas, Friday, Feb. 26, 2016, at Saft America factory in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
HESSTON, KS - FEBRUARY 26: Police keep guard of the main entrance of Excel Industries on February 26, 2015 in Hesston, Kansas. A gunman killed three people and wounded at least 14, Thursday, February 25, 2016. The shooter was killed by police. (Photo by Kyle Rivas/Getty Images)
HESSTON, KS - FEBRUARY 26: The shadow of the American flag projects itself on the main entrance of Excel Industries on February 26, 2015 in Hesston, Kansas. A gunman killed three people and wounded at least 14, Thursday, February 25, 2016. The shooter was killed by police. (Photo by Kyle Rivas/Getty Images)
A trailer rented in Newton, Kan., by Cedric Ford, sits abandoned the morning after police stormed it, Friday, Feb. 26, 2016. Authorities say Ford stormed a factory in nearby Hesston, Kansas, shooting 15 people and killing three. (AP Photo/John Hanna)
The front of a trailer rented in Newton, Kan., by Cedric Ford, sits abandoned with its windows broken out the morning after police stormed it, Friday, Feb. 26, 2016. Authorities say Ford stormed a factory in nearby Hesston, Kansas, shooting 15 people and killing three. (AP Photo/John Hanna) (AP Photo/John Hanna)
Shattered glass and bullet holes are seen at the front door of Excel Industries in Hesston, Kan., Friday, Feb. 26, 2016. Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton identified the gunman as Cedric Ford, who stormed into the factory where he worked and shot several people. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
FBI agents search the parking lot at Excel Industries, the scene of Thursday's shooting, in Hesston, Kan., Friday, Feb. 26, 2016. Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton identified the gunman as Cedric Ford, who stormed into the factory where he worked and shot several people. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
FBI agents look at evidence along Hesston Road outside Excel Industries in Hesston, Kan., Friday, Feb. 26, 2016. The deadly assault on Thursday at the lawnmower parts plant in the small town of Hesston ended when a police officer killed the gunman during a shootout. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton points out one of the shooting locations on a map from Thursday's attack at the Excel Industries during a news conference at the Law Enforcement Center in Newton, Kan., Friday, Feb. 26, 2016. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
Shattered glass and bullet holes are seen at the front door of Excel Industries in Hesston, Kan., Friday, Feb. 26, 2016. Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton identified the gunman as Cedric Ford, who stormed into the factory where he worked and shot several people. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
A vase of flowers with a note attached, blown over by the wind, lies on the grass near Excel Industries on Feb. 26, 2016 in Hesston, Kan. Cedric Ford, an Excel employee, allegedly entered the factory and killed three people and wounded over a dozen others a day before. (Travis Heying/Wichita Eagle/TNS via Getty Images)
Members of the FBI's evidence response team search the perimeter of Excel Industries on Feb. 26, 2016 in Hesston, Kan. Cedric Ford, an Excel employee, allegedly entered the factory and killed three people and wounded over a dozen others a day before. (Travis Heying/Wichita Eagle/TNS via Getty Images)
Members of the FBI's evidence response team search the perimeter of Excel Industries on Feb. 26, 2016 in Hesston, Kan. Cedric Ford, an Excel employee, allegedly entered the factory and killed three people and wounded over a dozen others a day before. (Travis Heying/Wichita Eagle/TNS via Getty Images)
A member of the FBI's evidence response team marks a bullet hole on an exterior wall at Excel Industries on Feb. 26, 2016 in Hesston, Kan. Cedric Ford, an Excel employee, allegedly entered the factory and killed three people and wounded over a dozen others a day before. (Travis Heying/Wichita Eagle/TNS via Getty Images)
A shattered window can be seen at the main entrance to Excel Industries as investigators continue to work inside the building on Friday morning, Feb. 26, 2016 in Hesston, Kan. Cedric Ford allegedly entered the factory and killed three people and wounded over a dozen others a day before. (Travis Heying/Wichita Eagle/TNS via Getty Images)
EMS workers gather at a staging area by Excel Industries in Hesston, Kan., where a gunman reportedly killed up to seven people and injured many others on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016. (Fernando Salazar/Wichita Eagle/TNS via Getty Images)
Police guard the front door of Excel Industries in Hesston, Kan., where a gunman reportedly killed up to seven people and injured many others on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016. (Fernando Salazar/Wichita Eagle/TNS via Getty Images)
Police guard the front door of Excel Industries in Hesston, Kan., where a gunman reportedly killed up to seven people and injured many others on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016. (Fernando Salazar/Wichita Eagle/TNS via Getty Images)
Police go through the parking lot of Excel Industries in Hesston, Kan., where a gunman reportedly killed up to seven people and injured many others on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016. (Fernando Salazar/Wichita Eagle/TNS via Getty Images)
Police go through the parking lot of Excel Industries in Hesston, Kan., where a gunman reportedly killed up to seven people and injured many others on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016. (Fernando Salazar/Wichita Eagle/TNS via Getty Images)
In this photo provided by KWCH-TV, police vehicles line the road after reports of a shooting in Hesston, Kan., Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016. A Harvey County sheriff's dispatcher said the shooting occurred Thursday afternoon at Excel Industries. (KWCH-TV via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

Photo from the Facebook page of the alleged shooter, Cedric Ford.

(Photo via Facebook)

Photo from the Facebook page of the alleged shooter, Cedric Ford.

(Photo via Facebook)

Photo from the Facebook page of the alleged shooter, Cedric Ford.

(Photo via Facebook)

LIVE UPDATES: Multiple casualties in Kansas workplace shooting https://t.co/upbbT1Z3LU https://t.co/rxSmCeTuSY
Law enforcement on the scene of an active shooter. Employees of Excel industries tell me they heard gun shots & ran. https://t.co/EYRchouQpK
Multiple employees are injured from gun shot wounds. EMS is on scene. https://t.co/W446vyFfLO
Crews from Halstead, Rice, Reno, Burton, Newton, Sedgwick are still on scene. Setting up a triage area. https://t.co/Ni31r1APcf
#BREAKING: 'SHOOTER DOWN'; Scene No Longer Active in Hesston, Kansas UPDATE >> https://t.co/hvuykDZ2qb https://t.co/xEMlAy0zxU
BREAKING: Police responding to reports of multiple people shot in Hesston, Kansas https://t.co/9GIXUtLOwc https://t.co/rYiRDxQkJJ
#Kansas: Shooting at #Excel Industries In Hesston Leaves 2 Dead #HesstonShooting #Breaking https://t.co/mChwxyHslw https://t.co/MT86tlQDQM
JUST IN: 2 people reported killed in shooting at Excel Industries in Hesston, Kansas https://t.co/3VeYLPUd0L https://t.co/8d14Oueduy
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He was killed in an exchange of gunfire with the first police officer to reach the scene, Hesston Police Chief Doug Schroeder, police secretary Jeannine Hoheisel said. Hesston is a town of about 4,000 people about 36 miles north of Wichita, Hoheisel said.

"The man was not going to stop shooting," Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton said at a news conference on Friday. "The only reason he stopped shooting is because that officer stopped the shooter."

Walton described the officer as a hero, saying there was many as 300 people in the Excel Industries factory where the worst of the rampage took place as employees were beginning the day's second shift.

Ford had been served a protection from abuse order earlier Thursday at the factory, which may have triggered the bloodshed, authorities said. He left the factory after being served but began shooting about 90 minutes later.

Walton did not specify who had sought the protection order but said it was not an employee of the plant. He said Ford appeared upset but not outraged by the order.

SEE ALSO: 4 dead, including shooter, in deadly Kansas attack

Protection from abuse orders usually are issued on behalf of a person in an intimate relationship or who lives in the same household as the subject, and has been physically or sexually abused.

Ford had been jailed a couple of times before, Walton said.

The shooting began with Ford firing out of his vehicle as he drove through two cities back to the factory, Walton has said. He stole one victim's car, went to Excel Industries and shot someone in the parking lot before going inside.

Law enforcement officials were checking to see if the firearms were legally purchased.

All 14 wounded victims remain at hospitals and at least five were initially listed in critical condition.

The Kansas killings follow a mass shooting in Michigan last weekend, when a driver for car-hailing service Uber killed six people.

The number of mass shootings in the United States has elevated gun control as a campaign issue in the November U.S. presidential election.

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