Cedric Ford

There are still a lot of questions that need to be answered as the nation reels from yet another mass shooting.

On Thursday a gunman, identified as 38-year-old Cedric Ford, killed three people and injured at least 15 others before being killed himself in a shootout with a police officer. The motive behind the shooting and why Ford decided to return to the factory where he worked—Excel Industries in Hesston, Kan.—and open fire on co-workers remains unclear.

However, here's what we do know so far about the alleged shooter:

1. Ford was served an order of protection: About 90 minutes before he went on his rampage, a protective order was issued against Ford, barring him from contacting someone he had a relationship with.

The protective order is believed to have been the possible trigger. According to the New York Daily News, however, although Ford was upset by the order, it did not appear to be anything out of the norm.

"He was upset, but nothing greater than anybody else that gets served a [protection from abuse order]," Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton said at a Friday-morning press conference. Walton refused to give details about the order or the identity of the person it protected.

2. Ford had an extensive criminal record: Ford's history includes charges for drugs, burglary, grand theft auto and fleeing police officers.

According to the Washington Post, in the same protective order filed against him, his then-girlfriend claimed that he assaulted her and "placed me in a chokehold from behind" that prevented her from breathing. She wrote, "He is an alcoholic, violent, depressed. It's my belief he is in desperate need of medical & psychological help!"

One co-worker, Michael Dellinger, also told the Post that he felt there was something "real off" about Ford and that he had a "bad gut feeling."


3. Ford had an interest in firearms: According to Heavy, Ford posted several photos of himself holding firearms and even included a video of himself shooting a semiautomatic rifle into an open field.

"I'm ok really just doing my thing as things," he commented under one Facebook photo of himself holding a handgun while a longer gun lay across his shoulder.

The Facebook page also showed a person who loved to sing and dance along to hip-hop and go on trips to the zoo. Another co-worker and friend, Matt Jarrell, said that Ford "never came off to be a bad guy," as he remembered Ford's fascination with the zoo after he had gone for the first time as an adult.

"There are little things we take for granted that we see all the time or we've grown up seeing," Jarrell said. "And this guy, you know, he was just touched going to the zoo."