OTR Interviews

Oklahoma beheading: Has ISIS-esque terror come to America's backyard?

Workplace violence or domestic terror? FBI officials say Alton Nolen beheaded a former co-worker after he tried to convert her and others to Islam

 

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," September 26, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: This is a FOX News alert. Beheading right here in America in Oklahoma. Woman decapitated and then the killer took his knife to a second woman, stabbing her. And now, new fears that the suspect is linked to Islamic extremism. The suspect was recently fired from his job where he allegedly tried to convert co-workers to Islam. But then turning on those co-workers and carrying out horrific beheading. All of this happening in Moore, Oklahoma.

Joining us now is "Moore Monthly's" Sarah Jensen. Sarah, thank you for joining us. As I understand, you got to the scene before the police.

SARAH JENSEN, REPORTER, "MOORE MONTHLY" (VIA PHONE): Not before the police but I was actually there only minutes after then. We are an office just about a mile from this food distribution plant. So I was able to get over there right as officers were arriving at the scene and it was actually still an active-shooter situation but they thought it could possibly be that when I arrived.

VAN SUSTEREN: What you can tell me about the man who was shot and is now in the hospital, believed to have been the one who did this horrific beheading and stabbed the other woman?

JENSEN: You know, I think a lot of those details are still coming to fruition at this time. You know what we do know and can confirm is that he has quite the criminal background. We know that he has done some time for acts of drugs. He has had assault and battery charges in the past. We also know, by looking to be what we believe is his Facebook page, that he is he a radical, as far as it addresses his religion and that he was very open and upfront about what he believed.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you know what he was saying to co-workers as he was trying to convert them to Islam? Was it sort of a friendly conversion, a forceful conversion? Going on for a long time? Something new.

JENSEN: This morning, the sergeant at the Moore Police Department, he told us that all they know is that officers are receiving information from the co-workers that he were trying to convert them. But the nature of those conversions or the manner in which he was going about that, we don't know that. That's something the FBI is working with them to investigate. We contacted them and told them we don't feel like there is any danger or harm at this time that they know of. But, they're still actively investigating all of those instances.

VAN SUSTEREN: Had he changed his name at all on the Facebook page or the MySpace?

JENSEN: He had. I honestly don't have it in front of me but, yes, it had been changed.

VAN SUSTEREN: Sarah, thank you very much.

JENSEN: Thank you.

VAN SUSTEREN: Here is one call to 911. It came in during the horrific beheading.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CALLER: Can you hear this in the background?

DISPATCHER: Is that him? He is back?

CALLER: Yeah, it sounds like he is running around out here.

And that's a gunshot.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: Why is the FBI investigating the Oklahoma beheading case? And what do we know about the man accused with this barbaric attack?

Sergeant Jeremy Lewis of the Moore Sheriff's Department joins us. Good evening, sir.

SGT. JEREMY LEWIS, MOORE SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: Good evening.

VAN SUSTEREN: At first I wondered whether we should even name this man but I think we shouldn't play any gimmicks to hide his identity. This man is accused of this horrific act. What's his name and what is his condition?

LEWIS: His name is actually -- I got it right here -- Noland -- Alton Noland. Right now, he is in stable condition. He is coming out of sedation now. We have officers and detectives in the hospital with him waiting to interview him as soon as he is he coherent enough to understand what's going on.

VAN SUSTEREN: So he is expected to live, is that right?

LEWIS: Yes, he will live.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Now, what happened in there? What do you know about what happened?

LEWIS: He was obviously an employee of the business. I don't know the reason why, but he was being terminated. He was in a separate building. The Human Resources building is in a separate building. This is a very large complex of a food processing plant. He became irate and left that building, got into his vehicle and drove into the main entrance of the actual factory, the large business, and he struck a vehicle, got out, went inside, and the first person he came to was our first victim. He began stabbing her, killed her and then severed her head. He began assaulting a second female. And while he was in the process of assaulting her, an off- duty Oklahoma county deputy reserve was able to come and confront him and actually shot and stopped him from killing the second victim.

VAN SUSTEREN: There are reports tonight that the FBI is involved and also that he had made -- that he had recently tried to convert co-workers to Islam. Can you confirm that he was doing that or not, number one? Number two, did he say anything during these horrific assaults?

LEWIS: I can't confirm that he was -- we do have people that did work with him tell us that he was trying to convert people to Islam. There were other things that were given to us and that we found that led us to go ahead and contact the FBI to start an investigation into the background of him.

As far as the other question, I don't know. We have -- I haven't been given that. That also is given to investigators so I'm sure that we have that information, but that has not been given to me.

VAN SUSTEREN: I guess what I'm trying to figure out whether tonight - - and this is ongoing investigation, I realize -- whether the suspected motive is a disgruntled employee perhaps, or if it's whether or not anyway related to Islam and terrorism.

LEWIS: One thing we do know, we have a horrific scene with one person dead. What we are going to find out is why it exactly happened, what his motive was, whether he was angry employee or if there was other motives. And with some of the things that were told to us by witnesses and employees, that led us to call the FBI, which has a lot more resources in that type of investigation. And they are handling the background of this individual. And right now, detectives are handling the homicide portion of it. At some point, this could be entirely turned over to the FBI. That is going to be up to them.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is this a man who is known to the law enforcement? Is this someone who has been in trouble before in area?

LEWIS: Well, we have found since yesterday, that, yes, -- to us, no. It's odd that he works and lives in our city, but until this incident, we have not had contact with him. But he was recently released from prison and has had a lot of contact with law enforcement. So, yes, he has had a lot of contact with law enforcement but not with our department.

VAN SUSTEREN: Has anyone said that he was in any way radicalized or any specific motives or anything peculiar about him in terms of his behavior whether, you know, he had a mental problems or anything at all? Because, you know, as you look at this horrific act, you know, it's naturally, you know, people want to know why.

LEWIS: And we want to know why. And that is one of the main reasons we involved the FBI. We will find out if that is the case. But, we did need assistance on that part of the investigation. We were given information. Unfortunately that is part of the investigation. I can't release that at this time. But we do have information that led us to go ahead and contact the FBI.

VAN SUSTEREN: Where did he get the weapon?

LEWIS: We believe -- the weapon is used in this factory. This is a weapon that -- it's a knife that you would use to cut lettuce, things like that, an average-size knife. But it did appear that it came from the business.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why was he being terminated?

LEWIS: We, I'm sure, have that. I have not been given that information. So at this time, I don't have the exact reasons. I know that there are multiple reasons but I don't have those.

VAN SUSTEREN: Does it appear that the fatality was a random person? Did he seem to know them at all?

LEWIS: We don't believe that he was targeting them. It was unfortunately who he came in contact with when he entered the business. By his actions, it's obvious he had intent of harming who he came in contact with. If the deputy had not stopped his attack, I don't think that would have been his last victim. It was obvious he was trying to kill this person. And there was several other hundred people working in this factory that were also at risk if this deputy wouldn't have stopped the assault. He was in the process of still assaulting and attempting to kill our second victim when he was shot.

VAN SUSTEREN: What is the condition of the second victim? Is she going to live?

LEWIS: She was in stable condition, and yes, the last update was that she was expected to live.

VAN SUSTEREN: Sergeant, I can't even imagine this horrific scene or imagine a work place like this. It really is the worse, isn't it?

LEWIS: As far as our community and our police department, I think we are all pretty much still in shock. To have any, you know, we just -- it's a very safe area. We are in the center of Oklahoma and then to have a crime like and you add the circumstances to it, it's almost -- it's just hard to believe. It's kind of a nightmare that we are going through right now. But we know, for her family and just for our citizens, we have got to figure out exactly what happened, what was the motive, and what he has been doing and what he has been thinking.

VAN SUSTEREN: Sergeant, thank you. Terribly tragic, and tragic for the family of the victim, and also even the members of law enforcement who have to do, as you say, investigate.

Thank you, sir.

LEWIS: Thank you.