The suspect, Alton Nolen, 30, was recently fired from Vaughan Foods in Moore prior to Thursday’s attack. Moore Police Department Sgt. Jeremy Lewis told KFOR that Nolen drove to the front of the business and struck a vehicle before walking inside. He then attacked Colleen Hufford, 54, stabbing her several times before severing her head. He also stabbed another woman, 43-year-old Traci Johnson, at the plant.
Lewis said Mark Vaughan, the company’s chief operating officer and a reserve county deputy, shot Nolen as he was stabbing Johnson, who remains hospitalized in stable condition Friday.
Nolen, who had previously served jail time on drug and assault charges and also goes by the name of Jah'Keem Yisrael, had Islam listed as his religion according to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. In addition to tattoos of praying arms and one that spelled 'Jesus Christ', Nolen also had 'As-salam alakyum' ['Peace be upon you' in Arabic- NANESB!] as one of his tattoos. Although it isn't known exactly when Nolen converted to Islam, the content of his Facebook page shifted from sports and rap lyrics to almost exclusively Islamic content in the Spring of 2013- including pictures of masked ISIS and Al Qaeda fighters in Syria and beheading videos.
Before being fired, Nolen was said to have attempted to convert some of his co-workers to Islam- his dismissal came after he reportedly said he supported stoning women for offenses committed under Islamic Shari'a law.
Vaughan Foods Chief Operating Officer and Oklahoma County Reserve Deputy Mark Vaughan grabbed a rifle he kept in his office and fired two shots, striking Nolen as he was stabbing Traci Johnson. Nolen survived and is undergoing treatment for gunshot wounds at a nearby hospital.
Local police and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol have asked the FBI to investigate whether or not the knife attack was linked to any terrorist activity. Intelligence agencies had warned that he Islamic State in Iraq and Syria- better known as ISIS- had called upon supporters in the west via social media to carry out 'lone wolf' attacks in the west. Days before the Moore, OK beheading an 18 year old Muslim named Numen Haider stabbed two police officers outside a police station in Victoria, Australia. Haider, who reportedly unfurled an ISIS banner at a local mall and made plans to travel to Syria, was fatally shot during the altercation while the two policemen are expected to survive.