Abuse, threats before Brooklyn Cracker Barrel shooting that killed mom and daughters

Friends described painkiller abuse

CLEVELAND - Reports from the Ohio BCI detail the disturbing events leading up to the shooting at the Brooklyn Cracker Barrel restaurant that left a family dead.

On April 12, Kate and her two daughters, Kayla and Kerri, met her husband at the restaurant on Tiedeman Road for dinner. It was Kerri's 10th birthday and she wanted to see her dad, despite her mother's nervous instincts.

"Kate had hoped that the location would help avoid any conflicts with Kevin," the BCI report said.

Friends told investigators that Kevin Allen, 51, had been abusive towards his wife for months and using painkillers, like Oxycodone. He had also purchased a GPS tracker that he was planning to put in Kate's car.

The report said the Kevin even made a comment at work about killing his wife and kids, which prompted his employer to order anger management training. His employer also considered transferring Kevin to another office to help protect the family.

About two weeks before the tragic shooting, Kevin bought a cell phone blocker, which Kate discovered while trying to call for medical help for one of her daughters. A couple days later, the couple got into an argument, so she took the kids to stay with a friend. Kate also went to the Strongsville Police Department to file a restraining order.

Then, on April 11, Kevin went to Kate's workplace at Great Northern Mall and tried to get her to leave with him.

"Kevin leaves the mall and later goes online and begins blocking incoming calls to Kate's phone… Kevin also locked the daughters' phones out," the report said.

The night of the shooting, Kevin paid for their dinner then went outside. Kate was holding her own phone and a prepaid phone as she told 911 she was in fear of her husband.

"Kevin had told them that they were going to go home with him and he was going to kill them at the house," a friend told investigators. Kate had also spotted the shotgun shells in Kevin's pocket.

The next events all happened in about five minutes. The BCI said Kevin returned to the gift shop area of the restaurant with a shotgun, shooting his wife once in the chest and once in the groin. He even took the time to drop to his knee and reload the gun. He shot Kate in the head before chasing after his two daughters, who fled towards the restroom.

"A witness statement indicated that Kevin was on a knee putting the shotgun underneath the door and shooting," according to the report. Kerri, who was wearing a birthday hat, had tried to hide in the stall, but she was shot in the abdomen. Both she and her mother were pronounced dead at the scene. A damaged birthday card was found near Kerri's hand.

As for Kevin, he was shot by police outside the restaurant after refusing to put down the gun. Police kicked away the shotgun and cuffed him. He was also pronounced dead.

Kayla, age 10, survived that night with a gunshot wound to her head and leg. A month later, the slightly older of the two Allen girls would succumb to her injuries.

Investigators at the scene found shotgun shells and pellets scattered over the floor. Days later, during remodeling, Cracker Barrel employees were still finding evidence.

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