Police chief, 3 others killed in shooting at Kirkersville nursing home

Image courtesy of WCMH

KIRKERSVILLE, OH (WCMH) — Kirkersville Police Chief Steven Eric Disario was shot and killed at a nursing home in Kirkersville.

Three people were also found dead inside the nursing home. Investigators believe one of those deceased was the shooter.

Chief Disario was 36-years-old. He had only been chief of the police department for about three weeks. He had six children and was expecting the birth of a seventh.

The active shooter situation was first reported around 7:30 a.m. Friday in the 200 block East Main Street in Kirkersville at Pine Kirk Care Center.

Licking County Sheriff Randy Thorp says Disario was found outside the Pine Kirk Care Center. Thorp says two employees of the center and the suspected gunman were found dead inside the nursing home.

Ohio State Highway Patrol Lt. Robert Sellers says Friday that the situation has ended and there is no threat to the public.Remaining residents at the nursing home were taken to area hospitals.

Lt. Sellers says the sheriff has requested assistance from the Ohio BCI who is on the way now. Roads in the area are expected to remain closed all day.

Local Schools on Lock Down

Kirkersville Elementary School is on lock down while police investigate. A heavy police presence is still located at the school. However, NBC4 reporter Dan Pearlman says all of the students who attend classes there have been safely moved to Watkins Middle Schools.

Parents can pick up their children from the middle school. Parents should NOT head to the elementary school.

“It was scary because I just put my kid on the bus and I didn’t know where he was going,” one parent told NBC4. “They didn’t call us till like 15-20 minutes later.”

“Any time, even if it’s not your school, just for it to be so close, you know, they have to be pretty vague on what it is, just let you know that everything is locked down, so, uh, that was a little alarming because all schools are locked down, so you’re not really sure what’s going on,” another parent told NBC4.

Response from State Officials

Many police agencies in central Ohio Tweeted their condolences to the fallen police chief.

“Our thoughts & many prayers go out to the #Kirkersville Police Dept & the Kirkersville community. We will assist in any way we can,” Columbus Police said on Twitter.

“Very terrible situation this morning in Central Ohio..Prayers for a fallen Brother,” said Franklin County’s Chief Gilbert.

“Our thoughts are with the Kirkersville Police Dept, community, and Ohio Law Enforcement during this tragic time,” said Upper Arlington police.

Response from State Officials

Several state officials reacted to the news of the shooting in Kirkersville on Twitter.

“Shocked & pained by the horrific shooting in Kirkersville,” Ohio Governor John Kasich said on Twitter. “Ask for prayers for those injured. Grateful for law enforcement’s quick response.”

“Heartbreaking news. Grateful to law enforcement who responded to the scene. Thinking of the officer, officer’s family & all involved,” said Senator Sherrod Brown (D) on Twitter.

“My office and I stand ready to help our officers and all those affected in Kirkersville in any way possible,” said Senator Rob Portman (R) on Twitter.

About the Nursing Home

The Pine Kirk Care Center is located on East Main Street. According to the Ohio Department of Health, the facility holds 24 beds, which are certified for both Medicare and Medicaid.

The owner of the facility is listed as Living Care Alternatives of Kirkersville, Inc. As of May 3, 2017, there were 23 residents at the facility.

The village is about 24 miles east of Columbus.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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