Man suspected of shooting a family of four was friends with them, neighbors say

Barry Kirk

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The man accused of shooting a Hilltop family had threatened to shoot people before, records show.

Police say on Monday night, 50-year-old Barry Kirk walked across Terrace Ave and shot 31-year-old John Anderson, his 30-year-old wife Christina, their 7-year-old son Landon and 12-year-old daughter Kylie. Only the little girl survived.

Many have said the Andersons regularly had Barry Kirk in their home and that the family was friends with him.

Benton Amburgy and the folks at Ironworkers Local 172 are still shaking their heads.

“No complaints, he was a good ironworker,” says Amburgy of Kirk. “We were all as shocked as you.”

The longtime industrial iron worker had been with the local union since 2012 and had never failed a union drug test.

“We’ve not had time to catch our breath,” Amburgy says.

Terrace Avenue neighbors are stunned.

“You never know who you live next door to,” says Alphonzo Carraker.

Court records show Kirk had a history of money trouble, unpaid bills, tax problems and garnishments. Late last year Kirk filed for bankruptcy.

His criminal history shows a petty theft and a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction. Although, a 2009 Criminal Complaint raises a red flag. It says he called the Governor’s Office and “threatened to shoot people.”

Back at Local 172, Amburgy says the union doesn’t pry into the personal lives of its members, but there weren’t any warning signs.

“You never foresee this happening. You can’t understand how anyone could carry out something like this,” he says.

Kirk only served one day on the phone harassment conviction from that call to the governor’s office. He was sentenced to 180 days, but 179 were suspended.

Local 172 didn’t know if Kirk had a history of mental illness.

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