KIRKERSVILLE, OH (WCMH) — It’s been nearly 6 months since Thomas Hartless shot and killed three people in the village of Kirkersville before turning a gun on himself.
Hartless killed Kirkerville’s Police Chief Eric DiSario along with Cindy Krantz, and his ex-girlfriend Marlina Medrano.
Now this town is ready to move forward.
Jeff Finley was sworn in as the new police chief in Kirkersville in October, five months after former Chief DiSario was killed in the line of duty.
“I’ve heard of lot of great things about him and I know I got big shoes to fill here,” said Finley. “The memory of Chief DiSario will never fade.”
Around town, there are still reminders of what happened scattered around.
Those reminders are of a dark moment in Kirkersville’s history.
“It’s different, it’s just different,” said Kirkersville resident Edna Groves.
Groves’ store is right across the street from the Pine Kirk Care Center, where the shooting happened.
She said it’s difficult for the community to forget what happened.
“It’s rough. Every time that someone comes in that’s not from here, needless to say, we get to talking about it.”
She says time has returned some peace back to her mind.
“When you hear a car backfire or something, you think about that, I do, but we’re not on edge.”
Groves points to Chief Finley. His presence helps to turn things back to normal.
It’s something Chief Finley believes will happen.
“We are surviving,” said Chief Finley. “The people that I met here, the townspeople, the businesses, they’re survivors, and we’re here and we’re going to be here.”
Finley said he never met the former chief or his family but wants them to know he’s there for them if they need him.