COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The man suspected of killing three members of an Ohio family in their home including a 7-year-old boy was investigated six years ago for threatening a mass shooting, according to police records.
Barry Kirk threatened the shooting after getting upset with an employee at the Ohio governor’s office in July 2009 over an unemployment claim, the records show.
“I guess I’m going to have to make a big boom or start shooting people,” Kirk said, according to a copy of a state police report obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press.
“I don’t want to but I will get radical,” Kirk said, according to the report. “I just want you to know this so when it happens and hits the newspapers, you’ll know it was me.”
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When an investigator went to Kirk’s house later that day and asked if he planned to shoot anyone, Kirk said he did, “without hesitation.”
A year later, in October 2010, Kirk pleaded guilty to a count of telephone harassment. He was fined and sentenced to a year’s probation.
Three police officers shot Kirk Monday night, moments after authorities say he shot his across-the-street neighbors in their house on the city’s west side. Kirk, 50, died a few hours later.
Police officers on patrol in the neighborhood heard the initial gunshots and responded to the scene at the same time 911 calls came in about the shooting.
Killed were John Anderson II, 31; his wife, Christina Anderson, 30; and their son Landon Anderson, 7. The couple’s 12-year-old daughter was taken to Columbus Children’s Hospital in critical condition. A police spokeswoman said the daughter was expected to survive.
All the victims suffered multiple gunshot wounds, said Columbus police Sgt. Rich Weiner.
Kirk was a once friendly neighbor who had been in the Andersons’ house and shared meals, said John Anderson’s brother, Jason Lozier.
The two fell apart over some kind of argument in the past couple of months, Lozier said Tuesday.
“My brother never really took it seriously. It was nothing ever serious,” said a red-eyed Lozier, 33, sitting on a stoop a few houses down from his brother’s Tuesday morning.
He said his brother was shot as he walked into the back of his house.
In 911 calls, both the daughter and Christina Anderson are heard begging a dispatcher for help.
“Somebody’s in my house; they’re trying to hurt me and my mom and my brother. Please help,” a girl’s voice says.
A man who was a family friend who lived in the house called it a “home invasion” in a second call. Gunshots can be heard in both calls.
John Anderson worked for a stucco company with his brother and had recently started a pavement-sealing business. Christina Anderson cared for the children and was taking GED classes in hopes of becoming an X-ray technician, Lozier said.
“It was a good, solid family,” Lozier said. “He loved his kids, he loved his job, he loved his wife.”
Besides the telephone harassment conviction, Kirk served eight months in prison in the 1980s on a vandalism charge out of Cuyahoga County, state records show. He also was cited numerous times for traffic violations, and had 2004 charges of assault and domestic violence dismissed, records show.
Messages left for his family members were not returned Tuesday.
Andrew Welsh-Huggins can be reached on Twitter at https://twitter.com/awhcolumbus. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/andrew-welsh-huggins