MOORE, Okla., Sept. 26 (UPI) -- An Oklahoma woman was beheaded at the food distribution center where she worked Thursday by a former coworker who was apparently trying to convert other employees to Islam.
Alton Nolen, 30, was fired from his job as a production line employee at Vaughan Foods in Oklahoma shortly before the incident Thursday afternoon.
Moore Police Sgt. Jeremy Lewis said Nolen left the building after he was fired and got in his car, ramming it into another vehicle in the parking lot. He then walked into the center's front office and began attacking a woman with a knife that was part of his work equipment.
Lewis said Nolen beheaded Colleen Hufford, 54, and stabbed Traci Johnson, 43, before he was shot by Mark Vaughan, an off-duty officer and the company's chief operating officer.
Police credited Vaughan with saving Johnson's life and preventing others from getting hurt.
"It could have gotten a lot worse," Lewis said. "This guy wasn't going to stop."
Johnson and Nolen were both hospitalized and listed as in stable condition Friday. Authorities believe Nolen did not specifically target Hufford and Johnson.
Lewis said police learned from other Vaughan Foods employees that Nolen had recently converted to Islam and had been attempting to convince his coworkers to do so as well. It was not immediately clear why he was fired.
The FBI is involved in the investigation into Nolen's background, which includes convictions for possession of a controlled substance and assault and battery on a police officer, and he spent April 2011 to March 2013 in jail.