Wednesday, April 25, 2018 Elyria 47°


Sheriff's captain: Inquiry in Officer Kerstetter's death will take weeks


ELYRIA — The investigation into the March 15 shooting deaths of Elyria police Officer James Kerstetter and the man accused of gunning him down likely will take another two to four weeks to complete, Lorain County sheriff’s Capt. John Reiber said Monday.

“This is not something that’s going to be rushed, and there’s a lot to go through,” Reiber said.

Evidence has been collected and witnesses have been interviewed, but Reiber said deputies still need to pull all the information together and are awaiting reports from county coroner Paul Matus’ office and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation.

Kerstetter was responding to a call on 18th Street in Elyria in which a woman told dispatchers that her neighbor, later identified as Ronald Palmer, had kicked in a window and exposed himself to her daughter.

Kerstetter arrived on the scene and at 10:13 p.m. told dispatchers over the radio that he was heading for Palmer’s house. Less than a minute later, he radioed that he’d been shot.

Two of Kerstetter’s fellow officers, Jay Loesch and Donald Moss, arrived a few moments later and shot and killed Palmer.

They also tried to save Kerstetter’s life, but he was pronounced dead at EMH Regional Medical Center after being taken there by ambulance.

Reiber said after the investigation is completed, it will be turned over to county Prosecutor Dennis Will’s office for review.

Kerstetter was laid to rest Saturday during a funeral that drew police officers from all across the nation and from Canada and had mourners lining the procession from Lorain County Community College to the cemetery in Avon. A huge crowd gathered to pay tribute at the Elyria Police Station, where the procession paused on its way to the cemetery.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or

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