Police investigate killing of Ohio police chief, 2 others

CORRECTS BYLINE TO DORAL CHENOWETH III- A person is removed from the Pine Kirk nursing home in Kirkersville, Ohio on Friday, May 12, 2017. Some residents had barricaded themselves in various places, police said.

Law enforcement officials gather outside the scene of a shooting outside the Pine Kirk nursing home in Kirkersville, Ohio on Friday, May 12, 2017.

Disario was investigating a report of a man with a gun when the suspect took two people hostage outside the nursing home.

None of the three have been identified and the motive for the shooting was not immediately known.

Steven Eric Disario, 36, was killed after responding to a shooting in Kirkersville, Ohio, Licking County Sheriff Randy Thorp said.

Hartless' auto was found at the Flying-J at Interstate 70 and Route 158, about a mile and a quarter from the scene.

Spokeswoman Jill Del Greco, of the OH attorney general's office, said investigators had more interviews planned and learning more about the connection between Hartless and Medrano is part of their efforts. She lived on the same street as he did in the nearby village of Utica.

Authorities were not releasing the names of the other two victims.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said Friday that two search warrants were issued for the cars.

"This is a really small town, and everybody knows everybody", Kirkersville resident Debbie Messer told the Columbus Dispatch. The gunman was found dead with the employees.

KIRKERSVILLE An armed man gunned down a new village police chief on a street on Friday and then killed two employees in a nearby nursing home, where he later was found dead, a sheriff said.

People shouted that they needed police, the witness said. Police are not always on duty, Thorp said.

Thorp said law enforcers were still working to determine what, if any, relationship the man had with the nursing home. 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. Gengler said the hospital's emergency room was quickly cleared, but patients elsewhere in the hospital weren't evacuated.

The shooting occurred in Kirkersville, about 40 kilometres from Columbus, just days before the start of National Police Week, which includes National Peace Officers Memorial Day on Monday.

According to WBNS-10TV, the gunman is Thomas Hartless.

The order lasts through sunset Tuesday.

Kirkersville, about 24 miles east of Columbus, is a small village with a population estimated to be under 600 in 2015.

Chief Steven Disario, 38, had only been police chief about three weeks, Thorp said.

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