Toxicology report reveals high doses of meth in the system of the Hesston shooter

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) The Sedgwick County Regional Forensic Science Center has released the autopsy results for the man who shot and killed three people and injured 14 others at Excel Industries in Hesston on Feb. 25.

According to the report, Cedric Ford died from multiple gunshot wounds including ones to his left arm, left back, right lower chest and right abdomen.

Toxicology results reveal Ford had methamphetamine and alcohol in his system when he died. Experts said the levels were high, especially the methamphetamine.

Wayne Simpson is the Facility Director at Recovery Unlimited and said methamphetamine causes people to experience insomnia.

"The longer we stay awake, it creates a psychosis state of mind," he said.

Alcohol affects the amygdala in the brain and the combination of the two, Simpson said, can cause serious and concerning effects.

"When we take alcohol and we become angry, the reasoning part of the brain does not react to that and it's going to continue to go into more anger because we have nothing to stop that," he said. "So when we start to mix alcohol and methamphetamine together in a psychosis state of mind and an agitated state of mind, it continues to get more erratic."

Simpson said while drugs don't necessarily make someone do something, they affect how a person acts and what they are willing to do.

"This had probably a big impact on his courage and his state of mind in order to fulfill this," Simpson said. "I think he has some other problems."

Simpson said it's hard to know how long Ford took meth. He said he may have built a tolerance to it but there's no way of knowing. While looking at the toxicology, he said the numbers would look the same regardless of how easily Ford could handle the drug.

But Simpson said the high level shows Ford took a lot of meth quickly.

"Methamphetamine has approximately a 12 hour half-life so he had to continue to use this meth, high doses in 12 hours in order to bring his meth level up that high," he said.

Eyewitness News asked Attorney Charley O'Hara if the drugs would change any part of the investigation or tie anyone else to the crime. He said in this case, no.

"If someone sold him the illegal drugs, number one, you'd have to prove who did that but I don't know if it's even foreseeable then if someone sells you illegal drugs that someone's going to go to a business and shoot people and try to kill them," he said.

O'Hara said the key words are 'reasonably foreseeable' and in this case, there isn't anyone who could have reasonably predicting what Ford would do.

It's unclear if Excel Industries does random drug tests but O'Hara said that wouldn't matter because again, there's no way the company could have known what Ford was going to do.

"If somebody just works for you and they're off work and they come in suddenly one day and they do something that they've never done before, no one's really probably liable," he said.

If there had been warning of the violence or if there was any security measures that should have been taken, O'Hara said things may be different.

"We're just speaking about somebody just doing something that makes no sense to the rest of us at all," O'Hara said.

Ford had been served a protection order at work at Excel Industries hours before the shooting.

He was shot and killed by Hesston Police Chief Doug Schroeder, who is credited with saving numerous lives by ending the threat.