One of the three people killed when a gunman opened fire at a Kansas plant was described by loved ones Friday as a loving father and a family man.
Josh Higbee, 31, was killed Thursday when Cedric Larry Ford concluded his 24-minute, two-town shooting spree at his workplace — Excel Industries, a lawn-care equipment manufacturer in Hesston. Ford was killed by police.
Higbee had been working as a welder at the plant for a little under a year, his sister-in-law, LaShonda Hinson said Friday.
When he wasn't working, Higbee was doting on his fiancee and 4-year-old son, or out fishing.
"He was wonderful," said his fiancee, Subrina Luke, through tears.
Hinson, who said she had known Higbee for over a decade, said he "worked long, hard hours to take care of his family," and treated his fiancee "like a queen, as he was raised to do." She said the couple had been "inseparable" since they started dating a couple of years ago.
Hinson said Higbee had been adopted at a young age and grew into a "very loving, kind man."
"There was nothing he wouldn’t do for his son," she said. "We don’t understand, but we know without a doubt that the last thing Josh probably thought about was his wife-to-be and his son … his family."
"He didn't deserve this," said Luke. "None of the people deserved this."
Two others, identified by authorities as Renee Benjamin, 30, and Brian Sadowsky, 44, were killed in the shooting spree inside Excel. Ford apparently chose his victims at random, and shot and wounded two people while on his way to the plant, the Harvey County Sheriff's Office said.
Police do not have a motive in the rampage. The sheriff's office served Ford with a protection from abuse order at work at around 3:30 p.m., around 90 minutes before the first shooting was reported. Court documents indicate the order was filed by a woman who said she was in a relationship with Ford, and accused him of choking her.
Sadowsky's cousin, David Prine, said he found out Friday that the 44-year-old had been one of the people killed. "I lost it," Prine said. "I hit the ground."