Hostage in Kirkersville incident used cell phone to secretly call 911

KIRKERSVILLE, OH (WCMH) — The family of Cindy Krantz walked around the Kirkersville crime scene today trying to get a better understanding of exactly what happened.

Cindy Krantz (Courtesy Krantz Family)

Kranz, a nurse at their Pine Kirk Care Center, was one of three people shot and killed by Thomas Hartless Friday morning before Hartless killed himself.

Hartless was apparently intent on murdering his girlfriend, Marlina Medrano.

Hartless took two men hostage in the alley behind the nursing facility while he waited for Medrano to come down the back stairs at the end of her shift. Hartless told the hostages he didn’t want to hurt them. He said he planned to kill Medrano and kill himself.

MORE: How to donate to the Kirkersville victims

One of the hostages used his cell phone to call 911, tucking it underneath his chest as he lay face down. He can be heard pleading with Hartless to let them go.

“You don’t have to have us hostage,” he says. “She’s coming out. We’re going to go get in the truck and go to work.”

While they waited, the hostage tried to whisper messages to a 911 dispatcher.

“We need help over in Kirkersville,” he says. Over the next several minutes, he whispers, “There’s a guy’s got a shotgun… He’s talking about killing someone… We’re behind the nursing home… Hurry up.”

Then a few minutes later, Kirkersville Chief Eric DiSario pulled up in his cruiser. Police say Hartless shot and killed DiSario as he was getting out of the vehicle. Investigators say Hartless then forced his way into the nursing home and killed Medrano and Kranz before finally turning the shotgun on himself. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s