June 28, 2016

Partly sunny

Man involved in standoff told police he didn’t shoot, said he’d put on clothes and leave

PITTSFIELD TWP. — The Elyria man who committed suicide during a standoff with Lorain County sheriff’s deputies at his parents’ house on Monday denied during his only conversation with law enforcement that day that he had fired a gun that morning as his mother had reported.


Deputy Anthony Damiano wrote in his report that after he arrived at 46167 state Route 303, he called Kenneth K. Cole on his mother’s phone around 9:45 a.m. and asked if he had fired a gun inside the house.

“He laughed, then stated, ‘My mom reacts like that sometimes, no,’ ” Damiano quoted Cole as saying.

Cole then told Damiano it would take him 15 minutes to get dressed and he would come out of his parents’ duplex.

Deputy John Steenstra reported what he thought was a gunshot from inside the house around 9:50 a.m., the report said.

But deputies and Cole’s family spent several hours trying to make contact with the 30-year-old father before the Lorain County SWAT Team was sent inside. They found Cole in the basement dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his right temple. An empty bottle of blackberry liquor was near his body, the report said.

County Coroner Stephen Evans said Wednesday that Cole shot himself with a .32-caliber pistol.

Cole’s mother, Esther Cole, called 911 on Monday morning and reported that her son was a heroin addict and was “wigging out.” She said he was punching holes in doors and had threatened to commit murder.

Kenneth K. Cole, whose family called him by his middle name of Kyle, had been arrested the night before in Elyria for DUI after an Elyria police officer saw his truck run a flashing red light at Logan and East Broad streets around 11:30 p.m.

Cole was pulled over in a nearby parking lot. Elyria police reported that Cole smelled of alcohol, acknowledged drinking and failed field sobriety tests. He later refused to take a breath test.

Esther Cole told the 911 dispatcher that her son drank and took anti-anxiety medication in addition to his heroin addiction. She said he had stopped attending a treatment program and was stealing from her family to pay for his habit.

Evans said a toxicology report that will show whether Cole was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of his death won’t be completed at least until next week.

Cole’s family has declined to comment, but his obituary stated that he worked as a welder fitter fabricator and enjoyed sports such as weightlifting, golf and football.

“He was also very compassionate towards people and animals and will be remembered as a loving, father, husband, brother and son,” the obituary said.

Cole was married and had a son and stepson, the obituary said. He graduated from Wellington High School and Lorain County Joint Vocational School in 2001.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.

About Brad Dicken

Brad Dicken is the senior writer for the Chronicle-Telegram. He covers courts and county government, and has been with the Chronicle since 2001. He can be reached at 329-7147 or BDicken@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter.