From USA Today: A newly fired employee at a food processing plant in Moore, Okla., allegedly stabbed and beheaded a 54-year-old front office worker, police said Friday, according to local media.

Police said the FBI was asked for assistance in the case because of the “manner of death” of the victim and reports from co-workers that the suspect, 30-year-old Alton Nolen, had recently started trying to convert several employees to Islam.

Nolen had just been fired from Vaughan Foods on Thursday afternoon when he drove to the front of the building, hit another vehicle and walked inside, according to police,KFOR-TV reports.

“Nolen encountered (fellow worker Colleen) Hufford with a knife,” said Sgt. Jeremy Lewis with the Moore Police Department. “During the attack, Nolen severed the victims head.”

Lewis said the knife may have been used by Nolen at the plant to cut lettuce or vegetables.

Another woman, Traci Johnson, 43, was stabbed and wounded in the attack, Lewis said, according to The Norman Transcript.

Authorities said Mark Vaughan, CFO of the company and a reserve Oklahoma County deputy, shot Nolen several times with a rifle.

“This was not going to stop if he didn’t stop it. It could have gotten a lot worse,” Lewis told the Associated Press. The suspect was hospitalized and is expected to survive.

“After conducting interviews with Nolen’s coworkers, information was obtained that he recently started trying to convert several employees to the Muslim religion,” Lewis said.

He said the FBI was asked for assistance because of the “manner of death and the initial statements of the co-workers and other initial information.”

Nolen had the words “as-salaamu alaikum,” Arabic for “peace be with you,” tattooed on his abdomen according to Corrections Department records, NewsOk.com reports. He also had “Jesus Christ” tattooed on his chest, “Judah” on his left arm and praying hands on his right arm.

Court records show that Nolen was convicted on drug-related charges and of assaulting an officer in 2011, NewsOk.com reports. In October 2010, he led state troopers on a 12-hour, high-speed chase after he was pulled over because of outsanding warrants.

Contributing: Associated Press

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