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Media Focuses On Suspect's Religion In Okla. Beheading

Police say Alton Nolen killed one woman and hurt another after being fired from his job. Many media outlets focused on his religion in their reports.
Posted at 4:18 PM, Sep 26, 2014

Police say an Oklahoma City woman was beheaded by a former co-worker. Many media outlets focused on the suspect's religion in their reports.

The suspect is 30-year-old Alton Nolen. He had just been terminated from Vaughan Foods, where the victim, 54-year-old Colleen Hufford, worked. 

Media outlets have been reporting this crime differently, with some focusing on the fact that he was recently fired while others used Nolen's religion as a focal point.

Investigators have noted Nolen recently converted to Islam and his co-workers said Nolen had been trying to get them to convert as well. Police say because of this information, they have asked the FBI to get involved.

Police say they were called about 4:15 p.m Thursday when a fight inside Vaughan Foods was reported. Witnesses told police Nolen walked into the building and immediately began attacking Hufford with a knife.

Police say after killing Hufford, Nolen began stabbing 43-year-old Traci Johnson. They say that's when an off-duty deputy who was in the building made it to Nolen and shot him several times. He and Johnson were taken to a local hospital. 

KFOR was there when police talked about the incident: "It could have gotten a lot worse. This guy was definitely not going to stop. He didn't stop until he was shot."

News OK mentioned local Muslim leaders say they are on alert and are preparing for any possible anti-Muslim sentiments following this incident. 

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections shows Nolen has a violent history that includes assault and battery on a police officer in 2011.

This video includes an image from the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.