Oklahoma beheading suspect reportedly tried to convert others to Islam before attack

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Alton Nolen

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MOORE, Okla. — Witnesses say Alton Nolen beheaded one woman and tried to kill another before being shot by an armed co-worker in Moore, Oklahoma.

The FBI is now involved in the investigation into the attack at a food distribution plant .

Moore, Oklahoma Sgt. Jeremy Lewis told KFOR-TV Nolen had just been fired when he drove to the front of the business, hit a vehicle and walked inside.

He walked into the front office area where he encountered 54-year-old Colleen Hufford and police say he began attacking her with a knife.

Hufford was stabbed several times and that Nolen “severed her head.”

Police said Nolen approached 43-year-old Traci Johnson and began attacking her with the same knife.

Investigators said, Mark Vaughan, a Oklahoma County reserve deputy and former CEO of the business, shot Nolan as he was stabbing Johnson.

“He’s a hero in this situation,” Sgt. Lewis said, referring to Vaughan. “It could have gotten a lot worse.”

Authorities say it appears Nolen was attacking employees at random.

Johnson is in stable condition at a local hospital, recovering from her injuries.

The FBI is now looking into Nolen’s background after his former co-workers said he tried to convert them to Islam after recently converting himself.

Lewis says the FBI is working in conjunction with the Moore Police Department, especially when it comes to the religious aspect of the case.

At this time, it is not known if the suspect’s beliefs played a role in the attack.

Vaughan Foods released the following statement about the attack:

“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.”

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