A Muslim man who was fired Thursday from a food processing plant in an Oklahoma City suburb beheaded a woman with a knife and was attacking another worker when he was shot and wounded by a company official, according to police.
The 30-year-old man, Alton Nolen, has yet to be charged after allegedly severing the head of Colleen Hufford, 54, with a knife. The attack came Thursday at Vaughan Foods, according to Moore Police Sgt. Jeremy Lewis.
“Yes, she was beheaded,” Lewis said.
After beheading Hufford, Nolen reportedly began stabbing 43-year-old Traci Johnson before the company’s chief operating officer, Mark Vaughan, twice shot the man. Vaughan is also a reserve sheriff’s deputy.
Lewis said investigators have learned that Nolen had been trying to convert employees to Islam. Because of the nature of the attack, the FBI have been called in to aid in the investigation.
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Oklahoma Department of Corrections records indicate the suspect has multiple, apparently religious tattoos. One reportedly references Jesus and another is Arabic writing with the phrase “peace be with you.”
Nolen apparently celebrated terrorism, promoted Islam and disparaged non-Muslims in a series of posts on Facebook, under the name of Jah’Keem Yisrael, in the months leading up to the alleged killing. The messages he shares are disturbing to say the least.
Lewis said that immediately following the firing, Nolen left the human resources offices and drove to the entrance of the food processing plant to begin his attack. His attack apparently wasn’t targeted at the two women. Instead, they just seemed to be in his way, according to CNN.
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Lewis said he didn’t know why Nolen was fired and praised Vaughan for halting the attack.
“This was not going to stop if he didn’t stop it. It could have gotten a lot worse,” Lewis said.
It is unknown what charges will be filed against Nolen, who is in stable condition. Lewis said police are waiting until he is conscious to arrest him.
According to Lewis, he was “coming out of a sedation” at a hospital and investigators planned “to attempt to begin interviewing him as soon as he was coherent enough to understand what was going on.”