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 male former employee.
Alton Alexander Nolen, who was fired from the business before allegedly 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.
The horrific incident unfolded after Nolen, 30, was terminated at a different location, then reportedly drove to the front of the Vaughan Foods building, hit a vehicle and walked inside.
Nolen also reportedly attacked Traci Johnson, 43, another worker at the plant, before being shot by Mark Vaughn, the chief operating officer of the company and a reserve Oklahoma County Deputy.
— CNN Wire (@CNNWire) September 26, 2014
Johnson is currently in stable condition; authorities believe the suspect would have killed the second victim had he not been stopped.
Police do not currently believe that Hufford and Johnson were targeted, but claim that they were in Nolen’s way after he entered the building.
See the press release from the Moore Police Department below:
Coworkers claim that Nolen had recently converted to Islam and that he had been attempting to convert them as well, according to police.
“After conducting interviews with coworkers of Nolen information was obtained that he recently … started trying to convert some of his coworkers to the Muslim religion,” Moore Police Department officer Jeremy Lewis said at a press conference Friday.
The officer added that the manner of death and initial statements from coworkers have led the FBI to get involved in helping explore Nolen’s background.
State records indicate that Nolen was convicted of felony drug offenses, escape from prison and assault and battery on a police officer. Additionally, he reportedly served time in prison, according to Fox News.
Vaughn Foods released the following statement following the incident:
“On behalf of everyone at Vaughan Foods, we are shocked and deeply saddened by the events of today. 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. We are working with authorities on this active investigation and ask that you direct your questions to local law enforcement.”
Police have released transcripts of 911 calls placed to authorities during the attack — conversations that provide a lens into the chaos that was unfolding inside the establishment, as noted by KFOR-TV.
“Yeah, we can hear a lot of screaming. We’re actually in a different office but someone just came in here yelling,” a caller said before adding, “He has stabbed someone.”
This is a breaking news story. Stay tuned for updates.