BROOKLYN, Ohio (AP) — A northeast Ohio man shot and killed his young daughter on her birthday and his wife, who had just told him she was leaving him, inside a crowded Cracker Barrel restaurant before being killed by police.
The wife, Katherina Allen, told a police dispatcher just minutes before she was shot Thursday night that her husband had said he'd gotten rid of a shotgun, but that she'd seen him with shotgun shells. She also told the dispatcher that Kevin Allen was calling one of her daughters in the restaurant.
Kevin Allen fatally shot 42-year-old Katherina Allen and 10-year-old Kerri Allen and also wounded the couple's other 10-year-old daughter, Kayla, the Brooklyn Police Department said. According to police records, Thursday was Kerri Allen's birthday.
Kayla Allen was in critical condition Friday, MetroHealth Medical Center spokeswoman Shannon Mortland said. She would not specify the extent of the girl's injuries.
Authorities said Katherina Allen had called 911 from inside the restaurant, saying her husband was upset because she told him she was leaving him. He left the restaurant and was circling the parking lot, she told police. She also told police she was fearful he may become violent.
"I'm having some spouse problems," Katherina Allen tells the dispatcher in the 911 call.
At the end of the call, Allen says, "He's here and the police are here, too. I have to ..." before she stops speaking.
The dispatcher replies, "Wait in the lobby for the officers. Do not go outside. Let them talk to him, OK? Ma'am?" The call then ends in a jumble of noise.
Witnesses told police Kevin Allen came into the restaurant with a long gun and "selectively" fired on his family.
Officers heard gunshots when they arrived and saw Allen, 51, of Strongsville, leaving the restaurant with a gun. Police Chief Scott Mielke said officers shot Allen when he refused to surrender. He died at the scene.
The restaurant is located in a busy commercial corridor in Brooklyn, Ohio, near Interstate 480 just south of Cleveland.
According to police, Kevin Allen was arrested in 1995 for domestic violence. He was also arrested for burglary and theft in 2008.
Federal court records show the couple had just recently emerged from bankruptcy.
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.
Records show the bankruptcy filing was closed less than a month ago, on March 28.
Records also show that Kevin Allen filed for bankruptcy in 1991 and 2004, and Katherina Allen filed for bankruptcy in 2000.
Other court records show Kevin Allen has an adult daughter from a previous marriage that ended in 1995.
An eyewitness inside the restaurant, Robert Lovelace, told WKYC-TV that the shooting scene was chaotic.
"We all ran," Lovelace said. He said people in the restaurant didn't know what was happening. "We just told them, 'Look, let's get out of here,'" he said.
The manager helped move people to safety through a rear door, the company said.
The restaurant will remain closed until the investigation is completed, Cracker Barrel spokeswoman Julie K. Davis said in an email from corporate offices in Lebanon, Tenn.
"This appears to be the result of a domestic dispute between two guests and no Cracker Barrel employees were involved," she said.
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