Police chief killed, another three dead in OH shooting

Police outside the Pine Kirk Care Center in Kirkersville, Ohio, where an armed man gunned down a new village police chief and two employees on Friday, May 12, 2017, then was found dead.

The slain police chief was identified as Steven Eric Disario, who headed the Kirkersville Police Department, Licking County Sheriff Randy Thorp said.

Flowers and flags appeared in an impromptu memorial outside the village police hall. Disario was responding to the active shooter call.

Upon arriving at the scene, police found the shooter holding two people hostage in a wooded area behind the Pine Kirk Care Center before gunfire erupted.

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During the shooting, some of the nursing home residents barricaded themselves in rooms and sheltered in place. She lived on the same street as he did in the nearby village of Utica.

Kirkersville is a small village in central Ohio. The two employees and the gunman were found dead inside.

Authorities said Chief DiSario, Cindy Krantz and Marlina Medrano were shot and killed Friday by Thomas Hartless.

"I believe the last radio transmission we had from (Disario) was that he had the subject in sight", Thorp said. When the gunman was confronted by Disario, he shot Disario and the two hostages ran off unharmed. The facility is open to the public, the Dispatch noted, so family and friends can visit the residents, though WOSU reported the shooter would have had to have someone let them into the facility or have an access code to enter. A crisis team was on the scene to help assist those officers, as well as the residents in the facility and other employees.

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"You could hear a guy yelling", Kathy Rogers said.

"We're just very much on guard", she said.

A woman who works about a block away said she heard gunshots followed by screaming and then sirens. "They do a good job of taking care of a niche clientele".

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is processing the crime scene and leading the investigation into Friday's incident. County Coroner Michael Campolo didn't expect to release autopsy results until Sunday, after all four victims had been examined.

Governor John Kasich has taken to Twitter to pay his condolences, also ordering that flags at the state capitol fly at half-mast.

  • Larry Hoffman