Oklahoma beheading update: The beheading victim was working at the Vaughan Foods plant when a tornado ripped through the town last year. Co-workers said she had just finished rebuilding her home, which was destroyed in the same tornado. Law enforcement agents are digging thoroughly into the background of Alton Nolen to see if he had any ties to ISIS – he had recently converted to Islam. Police officers are also checking to see if his Muslim conversion had occurred during his time in prison and if he had been “radicalized” while behind bars.
A beheading on American soil allegedly occurred at the hands of Alton Nolen. The Oklahoma man had been fired from the Vaughan Foods facility Thursday. Nolen allegedly returned this morning and beheaded one woman and attacked another. Moore Police officers said Alton Nolan “became angry” after being fired by Vaughan Foods. Co-workers told law enforcement officers that the fired staffer had been attempting to convert them to Islam. Nolan was shouting Islamic phrases during the Oklahoma beheading, according to witness statements.
Alton Nolen has “no apparent” ties to ISIS or any terrorist group, according to emerging police reports about the Oklahoma beheading. Alton Nolen, 30, allegedly first attacked Colleen Hufford, 54, with a knife that is commonly used by workers at the Vaughan Foods plant. After the Oklahoma man allegedly severed the woman’s head, he then began stabbing Traci Johnson, 43, according to Moore Police Department officials. Mark Vaughan, who is both the food plant’s chief operating officer and a reserve sheriff’s deputy in Logan County, shot Alton Nolen.
Both the man who allegedly beheaded the woman in Oklahoma and the second female victim have been hospitalized. Moore police officers responded to the scene quickly with a tactical team, treating the Oklahoma beheading as they would an active shooter incident because the Vaughan Foods plant staffer who called 911 was not sure where the gunshots originated.
“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.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of the team member we lost and all those affected. Our focus is on the safety and well-being of our employees. We will provide counseling and support for our team members and support each other through this difficult time,” Vaughan Foods representative Danielle Katcher told reporters. “We are shocked and deeply saddened by the events of today. We are working with authorities on this active investigation.”
Alton Nolen was shot multiple times, but both he and the second female victim are reportedly in stable condition at a nearby hospital. The FBI is now checking into the Oklahoma beheading suspect’s background.
“This was not going to stop if he didn’t stop it. It could have gotten a lot worse,” Police Sgt. Jeremy Lewis said. The Moore police officer heralded the off-duty reserve Logan County Deputy as a hero for saving the lives of others Vaughan Foods plant workers. “There is no doubt Vaughan saved Traci Johnson’s life.”
Alton Nolen was previously convicted for assaulting a police officer and on drug charges, according to News OK. In 2010, Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper Betsy Randolph pulled Nolan over for driving with an outdated tag. The state trooper found out that Alton Nolen had outstanding felony warrants and placed him under arrest. As she attempted to handcuff the man accused of beheading a Vaughan Foods worker, he tried to run. Trooper Randolph held onto the handcuffs, tearing ligaments in her finger. Nolen fled to the woods and a 12-hour manhunt ensued. He pleaded guilty to cocaine-related charges in 2006 and received probation, but he later violated the probation and was ultimately charged with possession and intent to distribute. Nolen was convicted of escaping from detention and assaulting an officer in 2011.
Check back with The Inquisitr for more details about the Oklahoma beheading as more information becomes available.