Charges Filed Against Suspect In Moore Workplace Beheading
MOORE, Oklahoma - Charges have been filed against a man who is accused of beheading a woman and stabbing another one at Vaughan Foods in Moore, Oklahoma, last Thursday.
The Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn held a news conference at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, and announced that 30-year-old Alton Nolen has been charged with first-degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon, and assault and battery with a deadly weapon.
According to Moore police, last Thursday, Nolen, who had been suspended from Vaughan Foods earlier in the day, beheaded 54-year-old Colleen Hufford and stabbed 43-year-old Traci Johnson in the front office area. Off-duty reserve deputy Mark Vaughan, who is also the COO of the business, fired shots at Nolen and ended the attack.
Nolen and Johnson are expected to live.
Moore police said they have asked the FBI to investigate Nolen's background, because co-workers said Nolen had just converted to Islam, and he had been trying to convert other employees as well.
According to DA Mashburn, Nolen is still in the hospital, but he is conscious and talking to authorities. Once he's released from the hospital, he will be arraigned on the charges.
The DA said they will be seeking death penalty.
During a news conference Tuesday morning, DA Mashburn released new information in the case. Mashburn said Nolen was not fired, but suspended from the company following a "racial incident," specifically, Nolen reportedly said he "did not like white people."
After being suspended earlier in the day on that Thursday, Mashburn said Nolen became angry and intended on getting revenge on three people who he thought were responsible for his suspension. One of them was Traci Johnson, who reported the racial incident to human resources.
Nolen reportedly left the business and went home to retrieve a large kitchen knife. He hid the knife in his shoe before he went back to the front office area of the business, where the first victim, Hufford, was standing.
According to an affidavit, when Nolen saw Hufford, he grabbed her from behind and immediately began cutting her across the throat with the large knife, with a back and forth sawing motion.
According to authorities, Hufford was not one of the people Nolen targeted. She just happened to be the first person Nolen saw when he entered the front office.
After Nolen severed Hufford's head, authorities said Nolen came in contact with the second victim, Johnson. He reportedly cut Johnson across her throat and cut her face with the knife. That's when he was shot by off-duty reserve deputy Mark Vaughan, who is also the COO of the company.
Mashburn said several employees tried to stop Nolen. They threw chairs at him and tried to pull him off the victims. But he didn't stop the attack until he was shot.
According to the affidavit, Nolen openly admitted to "beheading" Hufford and cutting and attempting to "behead" Johnson.
Mashburn said during the news conference that there is no terrorism statute in Oklahoma. That charge has to come from the federal government. He said witnesses reported hearing Nolen yelling Arabic terms during the attack. The FBI is investigating the case.
The DA said more charges may be filed against Nolen, because he also chased other people with the knife.