|Kayla and Kerri Allen (photos from 2008)|
Their father, Kevin Allen, was then spotted circling in the parking lot in his car. Kate had just told Kevin she was leaving him. They were in debt, and Kevin had previous arrests for domestic violence and burglary. Concerned, she called 911.
When police arrived, however, Kevin had already gone inside the restaurant and opened fire with a long gun, possibly a shotgun. He shot and killed his wife and daughter, Kerri, and wounded Kayla. Police then shot and killed the man.
Kayla is in critical condition in the hospital.
From an article and news video:
Kevin Allen, 51, of Strongsville, was identified as the shooter eventually killed by police. Before that, however, Allen gunned down his 42-year-old wife Katherina (Kate) and his daughter Kerri, who was celebrating her 10th birthday. He also wounded his other 10-year-old daughter Kayla, who remains at MetroHealth Medical Center. As of late Friday morning, she was listed in critical condition.
Authorities say that the family was at the popular Brooklyn, Ohio, eatery collectively celebrating Kerri’s birthday before things took a terribly tragic turn.
Brooklyn Police Chief Scott Mielke tells Fox 8 News that it started with a 911 call at approximately 8:40 p.m. Kate, calling from inside the Cracker Barrel at 5100 Tiedeman Road, explained the situation to the dispatcher. Kate said she had just told Kevin that she was leaving him, and he was not taking the news well. She added that her husband was in his car, circling the parking lot.
When officers arrived, they heard shots from inside the restaurant before encountering Kevin, who was walking out with a “long gun.” They ordered him to surrender, but he refused to comply. That’s when Kevin was shot and killed by officers, Mielke said.
Workers and patrons at the restaurant were left horrified.
Kevin Allen had two previous run-ins with the law. He was arrested in 1995 for domestic violence and then for burglary 13 years later.
(a related article with photos).
UPDATE (4/15/12): Kayla is still in critical condition. More information on the shooting, including the shooter's violent history. From the article:
In February, Columbia Gas Co. requested a police escort to Kevin Allen's house, explaining he had not paid his bill "and has stated he will shoot anyone who attempts to turn his gas off," according to a Feb. 22 Strongsville police report. The report said the company eventually worked things out with Allen.
In June 1995, police in Kirtland -- about 20 miles east of Cleveland -- arrested Kevin Allen after responding to reports of a violent argument between him and his girlfriend, Janice Koerlin. The argument was the same day that Allen received a divorce from his wife, the report said.
Koerlin told police at a previous house that Allen "had violent episodes and had smashed household items."
Three months later, Allen was arrested again after Koerlin -- now his wife -- said he tried to suffocate her with a pillow. The Sept. 14, 1995, report said Kevin Allen was a "manic depressive under medication."
Police reports say Kevin Allen also was arrested for burglary and theft in 2008.
Documents filed by Kevin and Katherina Allen in federal bankruptcy court in Cleveland last year indicate they owed $60,000 to various creditors, including a $20,000 hospital bill. Other creditors included several credit card companies and two other hospitals. The filing was closed March 28.
Records also show that Kevin Allen filed for bankruptcy in 1991 and 2004, and that Katherina Allen filed for bankruptcy in 2000.UPDATE (5/18/12): Kayla has now died from her wounds. From the article:
Kayla Allen was hospitalized for about a month after the April 12 shooting during a birthday dinner at a Cracker Barrel restaurant in suburban Cleveland, but she took a turn for the worse and was sent home Friday to receive hospice care.
Hospice of the Western Reserve in Cleveland released a family statement Tuesday saying Kayla died peacefully at home.
“She has been surrounded by family and friends for the past few days, comfortable and serene,” said the statement. “This time has been most meaningful to us as we held her and loved her, prayed for her and said our goodbyes.”