Just an hour and a half before cops say Cedric Ford went on a shooting rampage in Hesston, Kansas, killing three and injuring more than a dozen before being shot and killed by police, he received something that may have been the fatal trigger. Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton tells the Kansas City Star that his office served Ford, 38, with a protective order—given to Ford at the Excel Industries plant where he worked—that paints a dire picture of Ford's supposed mental state. "He is an alcoholic, violent, depressed," the complainant writes in all caps in the filing. "It's my belief he is in desperate need of medical & psychological help!" Walton wouldn't say who the complainant was, simply noting to KWCH that "I can't give you details, but it would be someone he was in a relationship with."
The order was apparently placed in response to an incident that was said to have taken place between the complainant (who IDed herself as Ford's live-in girlfriend) and Ford on Feb. 5. In that complaint, the woman alleges she and Ford engaged in a verbal fight that soon turned violent and included Ford pushing and grabbing her and placing her in a "choke hold from behind" until she "couldn't breathe." She reported the alleged attack to police by phone on the 5th. Ford received the order at 3:30pm, and Walton said at a Friday press conference, per the New York Daily News, "He was upset but nothing greater than anybody else that gets served a [protection from abuse order]." Ford then left the factory; the first shots were reported at 4:57pm.