Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Lancaster police officer among 3 dead in shooting

Lancaster police officer among 3 dead in shooting 

LANCASTER — A decorated Lancaster police officer who was off duty has been identified as the third person killed in a double murder-suicide early this morning, Lancaster police confirmed.

Officer Randy Bartow, 56, of Logan, a 19-year member of the police department, was killed, as well as Stephanie J. Adams, 38, and Kevin J. Adams, 40, both of Lancaster. All three were shot and killed at 196 Cleveland Ave. overnight, police said. Police Chief Dave Bailey said Kevin Adams is the suspected shooter.

Kelly Bosch, a neighbor and friend of the family, said the Adams’ were recently divorced, and that Kevin had arrived at Stephanie’s house late in the evening. Bartow was also at the house, and an argument ensued. Neighbors heard yelling, a scream and then a series of “pops,” Bosch said.

Bosch said that with a local bar only down the street, she initially didn’t put the shots and the sound of sirens together. She said she was surprised to see an ambulance and officers pull up to the house.

Call logs from the police department indicate that Stephanie Adams was one of the people who called 911. According to the log, there were screams and she kept yelling at “Kevin” to stop pointing a gun.

She gave the street, but not the house number, so officers were dispatched to the area.

Many neighbors said Adams had only been living in the neighborhood for a short period of time.

Court records showed that Stephanie Adams filed for dissolution in March, and it was granted in May.

They had been married since 1991, records show.

Lancaster Police responded after a report of shots fired and found a man and a woman dead inside the house, and another man wounded, all of gunfire, a press release issued this morning said. The second man was taken to Fairfield Medical Center and subsequently died of his injuries.

Bartow joined the Lancaster Police Department in 1993 after working with the Logan Police Department since 1978. He initially served as a detective, and transferred to the patrol division in 1999. He was named officer of the year by his fellow officers in 1999 and 2002 and won the Lancaster-Fairfield County Chamber of Commerce’s Markwood Award in 2003.

Stephanie Adams worked at Darfus Realty and at Rooster’s in Lancaster. Co-workers gathered this morning after learning of the devastating news. Brian Darfus, the sales manger at Darfus Realty, said Stephanie always brought a smile to her co-workers’ faces.

“She was always smiling,” said Darfus. “She ways always happy, even when her life was in turmoil.”

Darfus said Stephanie was a doting grandmother, and will be greatly missed by fellow employees and friends.

“She was much more than someone who worked with us,” he said.

The call came in at 1:20 a.m., and the second man died at about 2:24 a.m. Police are still on the scene and have part of the road blocked off for the investigation.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is assisting with the investigation.

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