An Oklahoma woman was allegedly beheaded at her workplace on Thursday. Police say that 30-year-old Alton Alexander Nolen, who worked at the same food distribution factory as the victim, had been fired a short time before he committed the beheading.
According to witnesses, Nolen had been trying to get many of his coworkers to convert to Islam in the days before the attack. Police believe that the attack was motivated by anger and not Nolen’s religion, but are still investigating every possible motive.
After being fired from his job at Vaughan Foods, Nolen allegedly got in his car and drove it to the front of the facility. He crashed it into another car before he went inside and went on a rampage with a knife. Nolen reportedly stabbed another woman after beheading 54-year-old Colleen Hufford.
Mark Vaughn, chief operating officer of the business and also a reserve police officer, shot Nolen as he was stabbing the second victim. The shot did not kill Nolen and he is in stable condition at a hospital, along with the second victim.
Mark Vaughn is being hailed as a hero and likely saved the lives of many people. There were several hundred workers inside the facility at the time of the attack and police believe Nolen targeted the victims at random.
“It could have gotten a lot worse,” Police spokesman Jeremy Lewis said. “This guy (Nolen) was definitely not going to stop.”
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Vaughan Foods spokeswoman Danielle Katcher said that she and everyone else at Vaughan Foods was “shocked and deeply saddened” by the incident.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of the team member we lost and all those affected,” she said in a statement.
Police are not calling the incident a terrorist attack, but said that the FBI is investigating the man’s background and that they are not ruling anything out just yet. So far they have determined that Nolen did not have any obvious ties to any terrorist group.
“It is within the realm of reasonableness that this is ISIS-related, but you have to go back to the motive, and the motive was, he was mad,” former senior FBI agent Brad Garrett told ABC News.