HESSTON, Kan. – Grieving residents of a Kansas town parked riding lawnmowers with American flags beside them on some streets and adorned them with "Hesston Hustler Strong" signs in a reference to the lawn equipment brand from the plant where a gunman killed three co-workers.
The Excel Industries factory has long been an economic hub for the peaceful community of 3,700. It is a source of pride that draws nearly 1,000 workers from small towns around the region. Everyone seems to either work there or know someone who does.
The quiet was shattered on Thursday when Cedric L. Ford barged into the plant while about 300 people were working the second shift and opened fire. In addition to three people killed, 14 were wounded counting two shot as he drove to the plant.