Cracker Barrel shooting: Victims, suspect identified in Brooklyn, Ohio crime

BROOKLYN, Ohio - The names of a suspect and three victims have been released after a shooting at the Cracker Barrel restaurant in Brooklyn on Thursday.

The Brooklyn Police Department said they were called to the Cracker Barrel at 5100 Tiedeman Rd. at about 8:40 p.m.

Police Chief Scott Mielke said the woman who called 911 said she told her husband that she was leaving him and that he didn't take the news well. The woman told 911 dispatchers that he was in his car and circling the parking lot. She was fearful he may become violent.

When officers arrived, they heard gunshots inside the restaurant, police said. The male suspect was holding a "long gun" and trying to leave through the front door, Brooklyn police said in a news release. When he didn't surrender, officers shot him.

Brooklyn police said the suspect, Kevin Allen, 51, of Strongsville was killed, along with his wife, Katherina Allen, 42 of Strongsville, and Kerri Allen, who was killed on her 10th birthday.

Another victim, Kayla Allen, 10, was taken to MetroHealth Medical Center.

Kayla's family issued the following statement:

"Kayla Allen is in critical condition at MetroHealth. We will not be providing further information at this time. We would like to thank the staff at MetroHealth for their care and support during this difficult time. Please respect our privacy as we focus on Kayla's recovery."

Police said they believed the girls were the Allens' daughters but have not confirmed the relationship.

Kevin Allen was previously arrested in 2008 for theft.

Police said the investigation is still early and ongoing but initial witness statements have Kevin Allen entering the restaurant with a "long gun" selectively firing at close range.

Friends and family members of Cracker Barrel employees gathered in the parking lot to check on those who were inside. The employees walked out of the building shortly before 11 p.m. and said their manager told them not to talk to the media.

"My girlfriend called me and said that somebody came in shooting in the store and that at least three people are dead, I guess," employee Jodie McIntosh said. She left the restaurant at about 8:30, just before the shooting occurred. "The cop told me that the employees are fine."

A Steak and Shake restaurant across the street from the Cracker Barrel where the shooting occurred told NewsChannel5 people ran there seeking safety.

Cracker Barrel Spokesperson Julie Davis released the following statement:

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and the family of those killed and injured in this tragic incident at our Brooklyn, Ohio store. Cracker Barrel is fully cooperating with local police in their investigation and, for the time being, our store will remain closed until the investigation is complete and we are able to repair any damage. This appears to be the result of a domestic dispute amongst two guests, and no Cracker Barrel employees were involved. We are grateful to the police for their quick response and to our store manager for his/her efforts to protect our guests and employees by escorting them out the back of the store and out of harm's way. The safety of our guests and our employees is our top priority, and a team of senior Cracker Barrel executives has arrived at the store to provide support to our local employees and to assist authorities in any way necessary."

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