Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Elyria – Elyria Police Officer Jim Kerstetter was shot and killed in the line of duty late Monday night.

Officer Kerstetter responded to a call in the 300 block of 18th Street just before 10 p.m. after a woman complained that a naked man had broken out her window and exposed himself to her young child.

Chief Duane Whitely confirmed to reporters that it was Kerstetter that had been shot and killed early Tuesday morning. Whitely called Kerstetter “One of the Best” and an “Outstanding Officer.”

The man who shot and killed Kerstetter was himself shot and killed by Officers after neighbors say he lunged at them with a gun. Neighbors say the man has had a lengthy criminal history as well as mental issues.

Before joining the Elyria Police Department 15 years ago, Kerstetter was a Deputy with the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office.

Whitely said that the Lorain County Sheriff’s Department is handling the investigation.

Fellow Officers will be setting up the James Kerstetter Memorial Fund through First Merit Bank later this morning. ANYONE wishing to contribute may go to any First Merit Bank and do so.

Brian Woods


Anonymous Alan Wack said...

What a travesty. My heart goes out to his family and to all of the Officers of EPD. He was truly a professional Officer and was respected by all. A. Wack

8:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My thoughts and prayers go out to James, his family and the EPD.

10:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When the Lord was creating peace officers, he was into his sixth day of
overtime when an angel appeared and said, "You're doing a lot of fiddling
around on this one."

And the Lord said, "Have you read the spec on this order?

A peace officer has to be able to run five miles through alleys in the
dark, scale walls, enter homes the health inspector wouldn't touch, and
not wrinkle his uniform.

"He has to be able to sit in an undercover car all day on a stakeout,
cover a homicide scene that night, canvass the neighborhood for witnesses,
and testify in court the next day.

"He has to be in top physical condition at all times, running on black
coffee and half-eaten meals. And he has to have six pairs of hands."

The angel shook her head slowly and said, "Six pairs of hands... no way."

"It's not the hands that are causing me problems," said the Lord, "it's
the three pairs of eyes an officer has to have."

"That's on the standard model?" asked the angel.

The Lord nodded. One pair that sees through a bulge in a pocket before he
asks, "May I see what's in there, sir?" (When he already knows and wishes
he'd taken that accounting job.) "Another pair here in the side of his
head for his partners' safety. And another pair of eyes here in front
that can look reassuringly at a bleeding victim and say, 'You'll be all
right ma'am', when he knows it isn't so."

"Lord," said the angel, touching his sleeve, "rest and work on this

"I can't," said the Lord, "I already have a model that can talk a 250
pound drunk into a patrol car without incident and feed a family of five
on a civil service paycheck."

The angel circled the model of the peace officer very slowly, "Can it
think?" she asked.

"You bet," said the Lord. "It can tell you the elements of a hundred
crimes; recite Miranda warnings in its sleep; detain, investigate, search,
and arrest a gang member on the street in less time than it
takes five learned judges to debate the legality of the stop... and still
it keeps its sense of humor.

This officer also has phenomenal personal control. He can deal with crime
scenes painted in hell, coax a confession from a child abuser, comfort a
murder victim's family, and then read in the daily paper how
law enforcement isn't sensitive to the rights of criminal suspects."

Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek of the
peace officer. "There's a leak," she pronounced. "I told you that you
were trying to put too much into this model."

"That's not a leak," said the Lord, "it's a tear."

"What's the tear for?" asked the angel.

"It's for bottled-up emotions, for fallen comrades, for commitment to that
funny piece of cloth called the American flag, for justice."

"You're a genius," said the angel.

The Lord looked somber. "I didn't put it there," he said.


10:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TMC: Please allow us anonymous posters post sympathy comments/stories regarding this situation.
James was a great Husband, Father, Son, Police Officer and most of all, A great Friend. James was the type of guy that didn't judge you and he sure gave you a chance. One thing that sticks out the most for me was the first time I had met him I was walking home from the Whiskey Ranch because I had no business behind the wheel and He pulled over and asked me if I needed a ride. He always went out of his way for almost all situations. As the years progressed I would run into him frequently and we would always discuss whatever was the topic. Please keep his family in your prayers tonight and know that Heaven has a hell of an Officer up there walking the beat. Thank you Officer for your years of dedication and service to this cruel world we live in.
Bless You #177

12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Truely a sad day. As a business owner, holding back my tears; I had always found Officer Kerstetter as a fine officer and a gentleman. My prayers are with his wife, children, family and co-worker during this sad and difficult time. May God give you the strength and comfort to heal.
He will be missed in the community and here on earth. Thank you for your service Officer Kerstetter. It was a pleasure to know you.
Until we meet again.
John S.

12:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

when this first came across TV last night I was in Cleveland and started to pray and finally stayed the night as I know so many of the men and women on the force and no name was given. I have had the privilege of working with EPD on many community activities over the last 25 years with James and everyone else connected having given their time and money to help Elyria residents. Our prayers go out to the family and friends. James will be truly missed and this community is here for the family!

2:32 PM  
Anonymous Debbie Spangenberg said...

What a sad day. I knew Jim for a few years, he was a very nice professional officer. My heart goes out to his family and everyone who knew him. You will truly be missed. RIP Jim

2:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know Officer Kerstetter personally.I didn't wanna believe he was gone but its true. He was a beloved husband, father,son, brother, police officer. Everyone loved him. He did what he loved and he always put people before himslef and always was helping people. He left behind an awsome wife and 3 young girls. I'm very very very sad, He won't be able to watch his daughter graduate high school this year.And won't get to see her go off to college:/. Wow how can everyone say the gunman was a good person? HOW DOES THAT MAKE YOU A GOOD PERSON WHEN YOU SHOOT A OFFICER?!?!Personally i'm glad the gunman isn't here becasue he would get what he desreves! But my heart does feel for his wife.She shouldn't have to suffer from a mistake her husband made. Please keep his family and close friends in your thoughts and prays. Thanks

4:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HE DID NOT DESREVE THIS! HE DID NOT DESREVE TO DEID LIKE THIS! THE GUNMAN DESREVED IT MORE THAN HIM! everyone is going to miss him! Rest in peace<3 james kerstetter

4:56 PM  
Blogger Debbie Spangenberg said...

This is a very sad day. My heart goes out to Jim's family and the EPD. Jim was a super person with a very kind heart. He will be missed by many. RIP Jim.

6:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Condolences to the family of the fallen officer and to the brotherhood that also suffered a loss. May God be with you all.

7:54 PM  
Anonymous Patsy said...

My thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends and fellow officers of Officer Jim Kerstetter. May God be with you all.

8:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in Texas now and heard about this as I check in from time to time. My thoughts and prayers go out to James and his family and also the EPD.


9:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a very sad day in Elyria. Officer Kerstetter was one of the best. He is being remembered by many as the officer who tried to give everyone a chance. My heart goes out to his family and fellow officers during this tragic time. R.I.P

12:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this was a very sad day,my dad and i knew him through us buying his motercycle.Its horrible for a life to be taken from a man with 3 kids and a wife. God be with you officer James!

11:31 PM  

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