Here we go again…a convicted felon was ordered to stay away from a former girlfriend and then obtained two firearms from another woman before killing three people and wounding 14 others during a shooting rampage that resulted in his death during a shootout last week.

On his way to the Excel Industries lawnmower parts plant where he worked, Cedric Ford shot and wounded two people from his car. Prosecutors allege that a friend of Ford’s knew he was a convicted felon when she gave him a semi-automatic rifle and a handgun. The weapons were provided to him despite the fact he was served with a protection-from-abuse order about 90 minutes before the first shooting.

A judge issued a temporary order of protection for a woman who said Ford was a violent, depressed alcoholic. The woman said she and Ford were arguing on February 5 when he grabbed her, placed her in a choke hold from behind and took her to the ground.

Responding to Workplace Violence

Our firm has been very busy helping companies deal with the workplace violence and their response to the active shooter phenomenon that has been so prevalent in the media. There are two specific examples of our support within the last month that came to a successful and, so far, safe conclusion:

  • Our firm just completed a 12-month project at a nationally recognized manufacturing company located throughout North and South America. At the conclusion of this project, we created a video, which was played to more than 100,000 employees, describing the new policies and procedures we personally implemented with the full endorsement and collaboration of their executive leadership around workplace violence prevention. The general workforce has embraced these new initiatives, recognizing their leadership truly cares about their well-being. 
  • Two weeks ago, we facilitated a workplace termination after we conducted a thorough threat assessment for another nationally recognized firm regarding a concerning employee. This person had all the warning signs of a potential risk for violence including weapon possession. The employee’s behavior clearly had to result in a termination which was preceded by our firm conducting a security operations assessment, providing tactical armed support for the actual termination and continued armed protection for employees we mutually agreed may be at risk of being targeted.

4 Proactive Steps

A proactive approach requires staying vigilant and preventive in nature. We can do this by following these four steps:

  1. Whenever an employee, visitor or guest is a concern, utilize the services or armed security professionals who specialize in protection.
  2. Conduct an independent security operations assessment of your company, including its most important asset: your people.
  3. Conduct a workplace violence needs assessment to gauge the maturity of your programs to combat workplace violence.
  4. Ensure an active shooter plan that is operationally relevant to your facility is a fully integrated part of your emergency management plan.


The risk of workplace violence is pervasive. It doesn't discriminate between C-suites or cubicles.