Funeral service held for Kirkersville Police Chief Steven Eric DiSario


GROVE CITY, Ohio — Somber faces entered the Grove City Church of the Nazerene Saturday morning to pay tribute to a police chief who paid the ultimate price to protect his community.

“It’s a little thing I could do to be out here and show the community does care about him and we care about his family," said community member Tina Schlabach. She said she felt it was important to honor the fallen officer, though she did not know him personally. “It's killing me. I'm a mom and I've been married for 31 years to a wonderful man and I can't imagine -- especially being pregnant with a baby on the way.”

Kirkersville Police Chief Eric DiSario responded to a report of a man threatening people with a gun along Main Street on May 12. Officers say as DiSario arrived on the scene, he radioed to dispatchers that he could see the suspect. Moments later, a 911 caller reported an officer shot.

Saturday, as hundreds gathered to honor DiSario in a special funeral remembrance, those community members who had never even met the police chief lined the streets with American flags.

“I have sons who are in the police department,” said Wanda Mason. “It’s important that we support the police and give them the credit they deserve. Their lives are in danger every day. Not only them, their family members worry a lot also.”

DiSario was 38 years old. He had been appointed to the rank of police chief three weeks prior to the deadly run. Among those grieving his death are DiSario’s six children and his wife, who is in her final trimester of pregnancy.

According to investigators, as DiSario made contact with gunman Thomas Hartless, DiSario was shot and fatally wounded. Police say Hartless then went into the nursing home and murdered his girlfriend, nurse Marlina Medrano, and a second employee, nurse’s aid Cindy Krantz. Police found Hartless dead inside the nursing home.

The Licking County community will gather again in days. Friends of Marlina Medrano said they are planning a march on what would have been her birthday, May 25. They said the effort will raise awareness for domestic violence and spur change in the court system.

Funeral speakers:

  • Randy Thorp, Licking County Sheriff
  • Mike DeWine, Ohio Attorney General
  • Grace, Daughter of Eric and Aryn DiSario

Watch the services for Chief DiSario below:



Complete Coverage: Kirkersville Tragedy


WATCH: Law enforcement escorting the body of fallen Kirkersville Police Chief Steven Eric DiSario to Grove City Church of Nazarene


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