Friday, September 26, 2014

Oklahoma: Employee of Plant Beheads Co-Worker for Not Converting to Islam, Attacks Another

According to The Associated Press, Alton Nolen, 30, a convert to Islam, who had been fired from his position at the Vaughan Foods Co. at 216 NE 12th Street in Moore, OK, beheaded Colleen Hufford, 54, after which he attempted to stab and behead another Vaughan employee, Traci Johnson, 43, on Thursday (September 25).

Reportedly, Nolen was attempting to force Hufford and Johnson to convert to Islam. Fortunately, Johnson survived Nolen's efforts to stab and behead her.

At such time as off-duty Oklahoma County Sheriff's Deputy Mark Vaughan, who was employed as the chief operating officer at Vaughan Foods Co. was armed at the time and neutralized Alton Nolen by shooting the assailant several times, thereby saving the life of Traci Johnson.

Police Sergeant Jeremy Lewis said at a Friday morning (September 26) press conference that Nolen had just been terminated from his job when he went into the front office of Vaughan Foods and attacked Ms. Hufford, beheaded her after using a knife normally used to cut food and vegetables.

On Friday, Moore police asked the FBI for assistance investigating the beheading and collecting critical information on Alton Nolen. 

There is no doubt that Mark Vaughan saved Traci Johnson's life, Sergeant Lewis said.

Johnson and Nolen were rushed to OU Medical Center.

COMMENT: Saad Mohammed, a spokesman for the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, said leaders of the society's mosque are on alert and taking security precautions to protect  Muslims that might be threatened by the homicide of Colleen Hufford.

Alton Nolen had a number of tattoos on his abdomen meaning "Peace be with you, according to Corrections Department records. He also had "Jesus Christ" tattooed on his chest, "Judah" on his left arm and praying hands on his right arm.

Court records revealed that Nolen was convicted on drug-related charges and in assaulting a police officer in 2011. In October 2010, Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper Betsy Randolph pulled Nolen over and attempted to arrest him on outstanding warrants. While the trooper was attempting to handcuff Nolen a struggle ensued and the trooper was assaulted. Nolen fled into nearby woods resulting in a manhunt involving law enforcement agencies and two helicopters that lasted twelve hours until Nolen was arrested.

Nolen was sent to Davis Correctional Center in Holdenville where he remained for seven months before he was transferred to Lexington Assessment and Reception Center in Lexington. Nolen spent his last year of his sentence at the Department's Lawton and Oklahoma City community correction centers. He was discharged in March 2013.
While questioning Nolen's co-workers, investigators learned he had recently begun to convert several employees to Islam, Lewis said. Moore police have asked the FBI to aid in the investigation and look into the man's background because of the nature of the attack, Lewis said.
Sergeant Lewis said he does not yet know what charges will be filed, adding that police are waiting until the man is conscious to arrest him.
Sergeant Lewis said the suspect had been fired in a building that houses the company's human resources office, then immediately drove to the entrance of the business. Lewis said he didn't know why the man was fired.
"This was not going to stop if he didn't stop it. It could have gotten a lot worse," Lewis said.
A Vaughan spokeswoman said the company was "shocked and deeply saddened" by the unprovoked attack.

This report will be updated as new information becomes available.

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