NEWARK, Ohio (AP) — More than 60 guns were found in the home of a man who fatally shot his former girlfriend, her co-worker and a newly appointed police chief before turning a gun on himself, authorities said.
The guns were found Friday at the home of 43-year-old Thomas Hartless by sheriff’s deputies and investigators from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation hours after the killings at a nursing home in Kirkersville, The Newark Advocate reported.
Kirkersville Police Chief Steven Eric DiSario died from a shotgun wound outside the nursing home. Nurse Marlina Medrano, who had previously sought protective orders against Hartless in connection with domestic violence cases, was shot multiple times with a handgun and a shotgun. Nurse’s aide Cindy Krantz was killed with a shotgun.
A search warrant return lists 64 firearms, including rifles, shotguns and handguns.
He was not allowed to possess or own a firearm because of his 2010 felony conviction for abduction in Knox County, the newspaper reported.
Hartless pleaded guilty in his latest domestic violence case and was sentenced on March 23 to 90 days in jail. He was freed on April 12.
The judge presiding over the case has acknowledged that “mistakes were made” and said he will review how similar cases are handled in the future.
The Advocate obtained a letter Medrano submitted to the court before Hartless’ sentencing that said she still loved him and never meant for him to go to jail.
“I am not trying to validate why he acted the way he did,” Medrano’s letter said. “Tom has a severe mental disorder. With intense therapy, medication compliance and lifestyle changes, I am most confident we can and will overcome our struggles.”
According to court and police records, Hartless had stayed at Medrano’s home as recently as eight days before the shooting. Authorities say Medrano obtained a protection order against Hartless a week before he killed her.
Funerals are scheduled Friday for Medrano and Saturday for DiSario. A memorial service is planned Wednesday for Krantz.