County sheriff: Multiple deaths, injuries Kansas attacks

In this photo provided by KWCH-TV, police vehicles line the road after reports of a shooting in Hesston, Kan., on Thursday. (KWCH-TV via AP)

In this photo provided by KWCH-TV, police vehicles line the road after reports of a shooting in Hesston, Kan., on Thursday. (KWCH-TV via AP)

HESSTON, Kan. — A county sheriff said Thursday it’s possible “as many” as three to four people are dead, including a suspect, and up to 20 people may be injured after a series of attacks in south-central Kansas.

Sheriff T. Walton said at a news conference Thursday evening that there are “a number of crime scenes involved,” including the Excel Industries plant in Hesston where dispatchers earlier said they were responding to a shooting. He reported two other shootings nearby and one shooting in the plant parking lot before the shooting inside the Excel building.

The suspect was an Excel employee, Walton said.

Walton said the suspect was shot and killed and the scene at Excel Industries has been secured.

“I don’t have a lot of answers,” Walton said.

He said he couldn’t give an exact number of people killed and injured.

“We want to get everybody identified. We’re working on that,” Walton said.

Martin Espinoza, who works at Excel, was in the plant during the shooting. He heard people yelling to others to get out of the building, then heard popping, then saw the shooter, a co-worker he described as typically pretty calm.

Espinoza told The Associated Press the shooter pointed a gun at him and pulled the trigger, but the gun was empty. At that point, the shooter got a different gun and Martin took off running.

“I looked right at him and he looked right at me,” Espinoza said.

KSN-TV footage showed a large law enforcement presence at Excel Industries and at least one person being loaded into an ambulance. A college nearby was briefly locked down.

Hesston is a community of about 3,700 residents about 35 miles north of Wichita. Excel Industries was awarded the Governor’s Exporter of the Year award in 2013 from the Kansas Department of Commerce. The company manufactures Hustler and Big Dog mowing equipment and was founded in Hesston in 1960.

Walton said the FBI and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation had been called in to assist.

A spokeswoman for the Kansas City office of the FBI did not immediately return a call seeking comment Thursday night.

“This is just a horrible incident. … There’s going to be a lot of sad people before this is all over,” Walton said.

The shooting comes less than a week after authorities say a man opened fire at several locations in Kalamazoo, Michigan, leaving six people dead and two severely wounded.

Excel IndustriesHarvey CountyHesstonKansasmultiple deathsShootingT. WaltonUS

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

San Francisco Police officers speak with people while responding to a call outside a market on Leavenworth Street in the Tenderloin on Tuesday, June 22, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SFPD makes the case for more officers, citing Walgreens video

Most of us have seen the video. It shows a man filling… Continue reading

A 14-Mission Muni bus heads down Mission Street near Yerba Buena Gardens. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Pandemic experiments morph into long-term solutions for SF transit agency

The streets of San Francisco became real-time laboratories for The City’s public… Continue reading

San Francisco Public Bank Coalition advocates rallied on Feb. 5, 2019 as the Board of Supervisors considered supporting the creation of a public banking charter. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Debate reignites over San Francisco’s first public bank

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, momentum was building for San Francisco to… Continue reading

Apprenticeship instructor Mike Miller, center, demonstrates how to set up a theodolite, a hyper-sensitive angle measuring device, for apprentices Daniel Rivas, left, Ivan Aguilar, right, and Quetzalcoatl Orta, far right, at the Ironworkers Local Union 377 training center in Benicia on June 10, 2021. (Courtesy Anne Wernikoff/CalMatters)
California’s affordable housing crisis: Are labor union requirements in the way?

By Manuela Tobias CalMatters California lawmakers introduced several bills this year that… Continue reading

Mayor London Breed spoke at the reopening of the San Francisco Public Library main branch on April 20. (Sebastian Miño-Bucheli/Special to The Examiner)
SF reopening more libraries through the summer

After a handful of San Francisco public libraries reopened last month for… Continue reading

Most Read