A fired employee who had been trying to convert co-workers to Islam stabbed two female colleagues - beheading one of them - before an off-duty officer shot him, police have said.
Alton Alexander Nolen, 30, was fired from Vaughan Foods, a food distribution center in Moore, Oklahoma on Thursday before returning to his car and smashing it into another vehicle.
He then climbed out and entered the building, attacking the first two people he encountered with a knife, Moore Police Sergeant Jeremy Lewis said.
After beheading Colleen Hufford, 54, and stabbing Traci Johnson, 43, multiple times, Nolen was shot by off-duty officer Mark Vaughan, who was working at the business.
On Friday, Lewis said that Nolen had been trying to convert co-workers to Islam and that local police had contacted the FBI to help investigate the man's background, KFOR reported.
Co-workers said Nolen himself had only just converted to Islam, according to News9. It is not yet known if his beliefs played a role in the attack.
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Billy Hallowell, The Blaze
Gruesome new details have been revealed regarding a woman murdered in Moore, Oklahoma, Thursday. According to local outlets, she was beheaded by a man who was reportedly in the process of converting to Islam.
The victim, identified as Colleen Hufford, 54, died at the scene at Vaughan Foods, a food distribution company, after the violent attack unfolded around 4:05 p.m. at the hands of a former employee.
Alton Alexander Nolen, who was fired from the business before attacking Hufford and another coworker, is the primary suspect in the case. He was shot during the attack by an off-duty officer and remans hospitalized, but is expected to survive.
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MOORE, Okla. –  FBI officials are reportedly investigating a beheading at an Oklahoma food distribution center after co-workers said the suspect tried to convert them to Islam after his recent conversion.
The alleged suspect, Alton Nolen, 30, was recently fired from Vaughn Foods in Moore prior to Thursday’s attack. Moore Police Sgt. Jeremy Lewis told KFOR that Nolen drove to the front of the business and struck a vehicle before walking inside. He then attacked Colleen Hufford, 54, stabbing her several times before severing her head. He also stabbed another woman at the plant, 43-year-old Traci Johnson.
Lewis said Mark Vaughn, the company’s chief operating officer and a reserve county deputy, shot Nolen as he was stabbing Johnson, who remains hospitalized in stable condition Friday.
“He’s a hero in this situation,” Lewis told the station. “It could have gotten a lot worse.”
Nolen was apparently attacking employees at random, authorities said. The motive for the attack is unclear, but FBI officials are now reportedly probing whether Nolen’s recent conversion to Islam is somehow linked to the crime.
Nolen, who also remains in stable condition, has not yet been charged in the gruesome attack.
Calls seeking comment by FBI officials were not immediately returned.
MOORE, Okla. – Officials with the Moore Police Department say the FBI is now involved in the investigation related to a brutal attack of workers at a food distribution plant.
Sgt. Jeremy Lewis says the alleged suspect, 30-year-old Alton Nolen had just been fired when he drove to the front of the business, hit a vehicle and walked inside.
He walked into the front office area where he met 54-year-old Colleen Hufford and began attacking her with a knife.
The Moore Police Department released the 911 tapes associated with the attack.
911 Caller: “Shut the door, shut the door!”
Dispatcher: “Moore 911, where’s your emergency?”
911 Caller: “Vaughan Foods, Moore, Oklahoma, 216 N.E. 12th St.”
Dispatcher: “What’s going on there?”
911 Caller: “We have someone attacking someone in the building. I was just informed.”
Dispatcher: “Okay, where are they at?”
911 Caller: “Inside, are they in the office? They’re in the office, front office of the building. Yeah, we can hear a lot of screaming. We’re actually in a different office but someone just came in here yelling.”
Dispatcher: “Okay, do you know where they’re at in the building?”
911 Caller: “In the front of the building, there’s our main entrance.”
Dispatcher: “Okay, do you know where he is at in the plant?”
911 Caller: “We know that he’s loose. He has stabbed someone.”
Dispatcher: “Yeah, we’ve got medical en route for them. Is anybody with him or do you know?”
911 Caller: “Hold on, I’m going to put you on speakerphone for one second. Okay, so we don’t know where the person went and he went through our front office, went through the shipping office and stabbed a woman in our customer service department.”
Dispatcher: “Okay, did he know her? Is that who he was arguing with? Is she an employee?”
911 Caller: “She is an employee.”
Dispatcher: “Okay, thank you.”
911 Caller: “Lock that door.”
Dispatcher: “Yeah, lock everyone in there if you can.”
911 Caller: “Yeah, we’re trying. Okay, can you hear this in the background?”
Dispatcher: “Is that him? He’s back?”
911 Caller: “Yeah, it sounds like he’s running around out here.”
(loud bangs)
911 Caller: “And that’s a gun shot.”
Dispatcher: “Got a gun shot. Units responding to Vaughan Foods, be advised we do now have gunshots. Okay, do you know where he’s at now?”
911 Caller: “He’s in the hallway, outside of the center of the building.”
Dispatcher: “Maybe in the hallway in the center of the building. And how many more shots have you heard?”
911 Caller: “We’ve heard three.”
Dispatcher: “Three shots?”
911 Caller: “Now I’m hearing somebody yelling in the hallway.”
Dispatcher: “There’s another subject yelling in the hallway. Units be advised that there’s another subject yelling in the hallway. Still same amount of injuries.”
911 Caller: “Stay down, stay down.”