Exec Hailed as Hero for Stopping Assailant After Beheading

FBI investigating killing amid claims suspect was trying to convert workers to Islam
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 27, 2014 12:05 PM CDT
Exec Hailed as Hero for Stopping Assailant After Beheading
A worker from Vaughan Foods after yesterday's attack.   (AP Photo / The Norman Transcript, Kyle Phillips)

As horrific as yesterday's beheading of an office worker was in Oklahoma, police say they would have had more more victims had a company executive not stepped in to stop the assailant, reports NewsOK. Mark Vaughan, chief operating officer of Vaughan Foods in Moore, also happens to be a reserve deputy sheriff. When he learned of the attack, he left his office, saw a man stabbing a second woman, and shot the assailant twice with a rifle, police say. Suspect Alton Nolen, 30, survived and is under police watch at a hospital. Police say he earlier killed and decapitated 54-year-old Colleen Hufford and was attacking a second employee when he got shot. The second woman suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Nolen had gotten fired from the company moments before the attack occurred.

The police have brought in the FBI to help investigate the killing because employees say that Nolen was a Muslim convert who had been trying to convert others to Islam, reports AP. Authorities haven't confirmed that and haven't made a connection between the suspect's religious beliefs and the attack. “It’s really unfortunate that there’s a lot of attention on Muslims these days for actions of people who are either part of extremist groups or who have extreme ideas," the executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations in Oklahoma tells KFOR-TV. "What this gentleman did in Moore, which is inhumane and barbaric, is definitely not a representation of what our faith teaches." Nolen previously served time in prison for assaulting a police officer, reports AP. (More Oklahoma stories.)

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