Victim in Oklahoma food warehouse incident was beheaded: police

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 26, 2014 2:00 PM

By Heide Brandes

OKLAHOMA CITY Okla. (Reuters) - A worker killed during an attack Thursday at an Oklahoma food distribution warehouse was beheaded and the suspect, a fired coworker, had reportedly tried to convert his colleagues to Islam, law enforcement officials said Friday.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into suspect Alton Nolen's background for any potential religious ties to the attack after former colleagues reported he had attempted to convert them, said police in Moore, Oklahoma, a suburb of Oklahoma City.

Nolen, who had recently adopted Islam, had been fired moments before the attack, police said.

Islamist militants fighting in Iraq and Syria have released tapes that purported to show the beheadings of two Americans and a British aid worker.

Nolen, 30, was shot by a employee at the Vaughan Foods facility in Moore during the Thursday attack, said Moore police Sergeant Jeremy Lewis. Nolen was being treated at a local hospital and is expected to survive, he said.

Nolen is suspected of killing Colleen Hufford, 54, and stabbing Traci Johnson, 43, Lewis said.

The employees were apparently not specifically targeted but instead attacked randomly, he said. Johnson was in stable condition at a local hospital.

On Thursday afternoon, Nolen drove to the front of the business, struck another vehicle and walked inside where he began attacking Hufford with a knife, Lewis said Friday. He stabbed Hufford several times and then severed her head, Lewis said.

Nolen also attacked Johnson with the same knife before an Oklahoma County reserve deputy and a former chief of the business, shot him while he was stabbing Johnson, Lewis said.

(Editing by Karen Brooks and Jim Loney)