Gunman kills up to four in Kansas shooting spree

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(Reuters) – An employee killed up to four people and wounded as many as 20 others in a shooting spree that ended at his work site in Hesston, Kansas on Thursday where he was shot and killed by authorities, the local sheriff told reporters.

The gunman opened fire at Excel Industries, after police had earlier received reports around 5 p.m. local time (2300 GMT) of gunshots on nearby streets which were connected to the workplace attack, Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton said at a news conference.

“This is just a horrible incident that’s happened here,” Walton said. “There are going to be a lot of sad people before this is all over.”

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The shooter killed three or four people, and wounded as many as 20 others, the sheriff said. He said the suspect was driving and shooting from his car before he was killed by authorities inside the Excel building.

A spokesman for the local Via Christi Hospital St. Francis said they have taken in six patients from the shooting, with five in serious condition and one in fair condition.

Wesley Medical Center is treating three patients, said the facility’s spokeswoman Susan Burchill. She had no further details.

Excel Industries manufactures products for turf care, according to local media.

An employee at the business told local television station KSN that she was just steps away from the shooter before she made her escape.

“I’ve been through quite a bit but nothing like that; that’s terrifying,” the woman, who did not give her full name, told the station.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles and Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Bernard Orr and Lisa Shumaker)