Ohio SNF shooter disabled alarm, spoke with residents during incident, employees recount

Share this content:

The gunman in a shooting that left two Ohio nursing home employees and a police officer dead reportedly shot the facility's alarm system as he entered, leaving many employees unaware that he was in the building.

That's according to three nurse aides who spoke with a local newspaper last week. They're working to raise money to cover counseling sessions for employees of Pine Kirk Care Center in Kirkersville, OH.

“This is a nursing home, why does he have a gun?” nurse aide Mandi Moran recalled thinking as Thomas Hartless entered the facility on May 12.

Moran told the Newark Advocate she watched Hartless come down the hallway after shooting the alarm system, stopping it from alerting anyone that he had entered the locked facility.

Aides said they were in the basement when a coworker ran down to alert them an employee, Cindy Krantz, had been shot. They told the Advocate they called 911 and stayed on the line for 32 minutes, while holding the door to a resident room shut with their body weight.

“It was the only door that was closed in that hallway. He wiggled the doorknob, he pushed on it a little," Sims said. “But he never opened it.”

Pine Kirk residents reported that Hartless walked around the facility and spoke with at least one man. That resident, who had been in the front room, said Hartless asked him how he was doing as he shot his way inside.

The aides said Hartless frequently called the facility to speak with nurse Marlina Medrano, his estranged girlfriend. Medrano died in the shooting.

“She had a plan for what to do if he came in that building," Moran recalled. “We kept telling her that week it happened that he was going to kill her. I don't think she 100% believed he was going to do that and it's exactly what happened."

For more from the Advocate, click here.