Three people, including a suspect, have been killed at a Cracker Barrel restaurant in Ohio. The incident occurred when a family of four went out together to the Cracker Barrel restaurant for dinner to celebrate a 10-year-old's birthday. However, the celebration turned to tragedy when the birthday girl, Kerri Allen, was shot dead by her father Kevin after her mother told him that she was leaving him.
Following the heartbreaking news, Kevin became distraught and enraged and stormed out of the restaurant, causing mother Katherina to call 911. She reported to police that Kevin was extremely upset and was circling the parking lot.
However, Kevin then re-entered the restaurant and opened fire on his family. Birthday girl Kerri was killed instantly, as was mother Katherina. Kerri's sister, Kayla, however, survived but remains in critical condition in hospital.
Police arrived on the scene and repeatedly asked Allen to surrender, but he refused. Officers then opened fire killing him instantly. Police are investigating the shooting, and Cracker Barrel will remain closed until the police work is complete.
"We all ran," diner Robert Lovelace told WKYC-TV. "We just told them, 'Look, let's get out of here.'"
The restaurant's manager helped patrons evacuate through the back door, preventing further fatalities and injuries. It has been reported that Kevin Allen has had two run-ins with police before, and had been arrested twice: once in 1995 for domestic violence and again in 2008 for burglary, according to Fox News.
Many have since expressed outrage at the murders of the innocent girl and her mother. "This is very sad… Let us pray for Kayla and the rest of the family," suggested Monica Williams on the Fox website.
"What makes it worse is that he [Kevin] drove around the building a few times and premeditated the whole killing rampage," added Jason Muhich. "Who can premeditate the murder of their own daughter celebrating her birthday? It's simply sad all the way around."