Coroner releases findings from Ohio nursing home shooting
Initial findings from an investigation into last week's shooting at an Ohio nursing home that claimed the lives of two employees were released by authorities on Monday.
The report from the Licking County coroner's office showed Police Chief Steven Eric DiSario, 36, died from a shotgun blast after responding to a call that a man — determined to be gunman Thomas Hartless — was in the street with a weapon. Two hostages that were being held by Hartless escaped unharmed after he shot DiSario.
Nurse aide Cindy Krantz, 48, died of a close range shotgun wound in the hallway of Pine Kirk Care Center in Kirkersville, OH, the report found.
Nurse Marlina Medrano, 46, died of multiple gunshot wounds caused by a shotgun and a handgun inside the nursing office. Hartless, 43, was also found dead inside the nursing office, of a self-inflicted shotgun wound.
Several Pine Kirk staff members and residents were in the basement of the facility on Friday morning when they heard bangs from the upper floor, worker Sarah Sims told WHIOTV on Friday. Sims initially assumed the sounds came from a resident with behavioral issues throwing a chair, but was told by a co-worker that someone was shooting upstairs.
Employees barricaded the basement door and called 911. Dispatchers stayed on the line with employees for 32 minutes, advising them to stay calm and quiet.
“I just gotta keep people in this room safe and keep this door closed,” Sims recalled.
Licking County Sheriff Randy Thorp told reporters on Friday that staff and residents barricading themselves may have been part of facility procedure or “just common sense on their part.”
It's unknown how Hartless gained entry to Pine Kirk, Thorp said, as “it is a secure facility.”
Hartless had a previous relationship with and a “history of violence” against Medrano, The Columbus Dispatch reported. Medrano had filed three court protection orders against Hartless earlier this year; he was released from jail last month following a domestic violence case.