Police chief, dual others killed in shooting; think dead

The 911 tourist spoke in a whisper.

Little by little, a Licking County runner extracted what sum she could. There was a male behind a Pine Kirk Care Center in Kirkersville. He had a shotgun.

Don’t hang up, a runner implored.

Suddenly, people screamed in a background. The 911 tourist yelled: “He shot a cop! He shot a cop! A jarred runner asked, “Sir, is my officer down?”

Seconds later, a runner sent this alert: “Officer down!”

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By a finish of a distress Friday, 4 people would be dead: a troops chief, a nurse, a helper assistance and a shooter. An facile propagandize blocks divided went on lockdown and children were shuttled to a center school, where endangered relatives rushed to collect adult their children. The disharmony that enveloped this Licking County encampment of about 500 people won’t shortly be forgotten.

Kirkersville Police Chief Steven Eric DiSario had been on a pursuit for a month when he responded to a 7:50 a.m. call of a male with a gun. At 38, he had 6 children and his mother was awaiting a baby any day now.

He walked by a woods, where consider Thomas Hartless, 43, was stealing and had taken dual hostages. At first, a declare told a 911 dispatcher, DiSario didn’t see Hartless.

But he eventually speckled a suspect. In his final communication to authorities, DiSario conspicuous he had a consider in sight. Seconds later, authorities say, Hartless fatally shot DiSario. The hostages transient unharmed.

Hartless headed into a nursing home and killed dual nursing home employees: Cindy Krantz, 48, a helper aide, and helper Marlina Medrano, 46, who was Hartless’ ex-girlfriend. Licking County Sheriff Randy Thorp conspicuous Hartless was also found passed inside a nursing home during 205 E. Main St.

“It’s genuine hard. It’s a tough day for all of us,” Thorp said.

A declare told a runner that Hartless was dissapoint with an workman of a nursing home. “He conspicuous she ripped his courage out and everything,” he said.

Hartless has a aroused story with Medrano, who performed 3 polite insurance orders opposite him only this year. She practical for a final on May 5, and justice officials conspicuous it was still active Friday. He also was on trial for a before domestic assault box involving her, annals show.

In several justice records, Medrano minute steady abuse during his hands and her attempts to get him to change.

“I no longer feel that my support can assistance Tom with his issues,” she wrote on May 5. “I am fearful to be alone with him, that he will harm me for good.”

The suspect’s automobile was found Friday during a Flying-J during I-70 and Route 158, about a mile and a entertain from a scene. Authorities cumulative hunt warrants for a car, another car and a suspect’s home in Utica.

Utica troops sealed a territory of Oakland Avenue in a Licking County encampment commencement about 9 a.m. Investigators with a Bureau of Criminal Investigation arrived about 5 p.m., conspicuous one officer, and were celebrated withdrawal about 8 p.m.

On Friday, 911 calls came from outward and from inside a nursing home, where some employees and during slightest one proprietor were stealing in a basement.

One workman disturbed out shrill that she was going to die. A runner counseled those stealing on how to block a door, though to differently be still and not come out until an officer told them it was OK.

If necessary, a runner said, they indispensable to fight.

“If someone comes by that door, we need to be prepared to quarrel for your life,” a runner said.

Thorp conspicuous Friday that officers were with DiSario’s family charity support.

Kirkersville Mayor Terry Ashcraft conspicuous DiSario came to his chateau in Apr and asked to be an auxiliary officer. He told a mayor he wanted to concentration on schools and was dynamic to revoke speeding in a propagandize zone.

The encampment has dual part-time officers: DiSario, who is chief, and another officer who is divided on troops avocation in Texas. It also has an auxiliary officer, a former arch who stepped down shortly after DiSario assimilated a department. Three weeks ago, DiSario was named behaving chief.

DiSario worked 15 to 20 hours a week; a part-time dialect relies on a Licking County Sheriff’s Office when a officers aren’t on duty.

In further to his work in law enforcement, DiSario worked in sales for ImproveIt Home Remodeling, conspicuous Robero Safuto, a crony who works as a carpenter for a company.

“He cared about people and I’d come in after he’d finished all his measurements and they were always perfect. The business always raved about him,” Safuto said.

DiSario’s full-time pursuit in sales kept him around Kirkersville many of a time, Ashcraft said.

“This is tough, he said.

Before apropos chief, DiSario worked as a haven officer in Lithopolis Police Department for a integrate months in 2013. He worked partial time during Millersport Police Department in 2012 for about 6 months. He also worked during Brice Police Department partial time for a integrate months in 2012, according to state records.

Thorp conspicuous he did not know if DiSario dismissed any shots. After a shooting, a responding emissary pulled DiSario into a cruiser and gathering him to a glow hire for help. He was taken to Licking Memorial Hospital, where he was conspicuous dead.

All of a nursing home residents were after taken to internal hospitals so authorities could examine a crime scene.

Pine Kirk Care Center is a 24-bed trickery in a converted residential residence, conspicuous Peter Van Runkle, executive executive of a Ohio Health Care Association, a nursing-home attention group.

“They support to a lost members of multitude — folks that have, in further to earthy health caring needs, behavioral health issues,” Van Runkle said. “They yield them with a tiny sourroundings that’s reduction institutional than some comforts competence be.”

As of May 3, a trickery was portion 23 Medicaid patients, according to a Ohio Department of Health. A dialect investigation in Nov found dual violations: a nursing partner unsuccessful to sanitize her hands in between delivering dishes to mixed residents; and she unsuccessful to wear suitable wardrobe and follow hand-washing procedures after portion a dish tray to a studious in siege with a difficult-to-treat Clostridium difficile.

Van Runkle conspicuous a Ohio Health Care Association is wakeful of a risks nursing homes face and provides active-shooter training.

“Skilled nursing comforts are compulsory to, and should, be open to a open so visitors can come and go and see their desired ones,” he said. “We’re not available to bar people or close down a comforts so no one can get it, that creates it challenging.”

Debbie Messer, who lives on East Main Street, conspicuous she listened during slightest one gunshot Friday. After that, her 5 dogs “went crazy,” creation it formidable to know if there were some-more fired.

“I was in my driveway,” she said. “My neighbor told me that someone had shot a troops officer and to go inside and close my doors and call 911, and that’s what we did.”

Deanna Kesterson was one of many residents in startle over a shooting.

“It’s tough to believe. It’s like a nightmare,” conspicuous Kesterson, who has lived in a encampment for about dual years.

Kesterson took her son to a train stop to go to a circuitously facile propagandize when she saw troops commencement to intersect on East Main Street. She conspicuous she was told a propagandize was on lockdown and to get inside.

Chris Roush also lives nearby a nursing home. About 7:30 a.m. he was removing his kids prepared for propagandize when he listened a shot.

“There’s a lot of sport in this area, so we didn’t consider most of it,” he said. Shortly afterward, however, troops cruisers started brisk a area and troops were walking around with shotguns and involuntary weapons looking for a suspect.

The family stayed in a chateau and followed a news. About 10 a.m., word came that a hazard had ended.

He conspicuous they were never systematic to stay inside, though they did “out of respect” for a situation.

The mayor conspicuous there were no skeleton for a burial in a tiny encampment of 500 people. Ashcraft conspicuous propagandize officials wanted to tie ribbons on a categorical frame to respect a deceased.

Reporters Jennifer Smola, Lucas Sullivan, Kimball Perry, Rita Price, JoAnne Viviano, Theodore Decker, John Malone, Marty Schladen and partner metro editor Paul Souhrada contributed to this report.

bburger@dispatch.com

klecker@dispatch.com

@ByBethBurger

@kellylecker


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