Huffpost Crime

Kayla Allen, Cracker Barrel Shooting Victim, Has Died

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Kayla Allen, pictured in a photo on a benefit Facebook page, was the sole survivor after her father shot Kayla, her mother and sister at an Ohio Cracker Barrel restaurant before turning the gun on himself. Allen's condition had deteriorated recently and the 10-year-old died Tuesday.
Kayla Allen, pictured in a photo on a benefit Facebook page, was the sole survivor after her father shot Kayla, her mother and sister at an Ohio Cracker Barrel restaurant before turning the gun on himself. Allen's condition had deteriorated recently and the 10-year-old died Tuesday.

CLEVELAND — A 10-year-old girl who was critically injured in April in a restaurant shooting by her father that killed her sister and her mother has died, family members said.

Kayla Allen was hospitalized for about a month after the April 12 shooting during a birthday dinner at a Cracker Barrel restaurant in suburban Cleveland, but she took a turn for the worse and was sent home Friday to receive hospice care.

Hospice of the Western Reserve in Cleveland released a family statement Tuesday saying Kayla died peacefully at home.

"She has been surrounded by family and friends for the past few days, comfortable and serene," the statement said. "This time has been most meaningful to us as we held her and loved her, prayed for her and said our goodbyes."

The hospice said information on a public memorial service will be forthcoming.

Police said Kayla's father, Kevin Allen, shot and killed his wife, Katherina Allen, and their other daughter, 10-year-old Kerri Allen, before officers shot and killed him. Kayla and her sister were born about 10 months apart. Kayla would have turned 11 in June.

Witnesses said Kevin Allen went into the restaurant in Brooklyn with a shotgun and selectively fired on his family.

His wife had told police in a 911 call from inside the restaurant that she had just told him during a birthday dinner for Kerri that she was leaving him. She said her husband left the restaurant and was circling the parking lot. She said she feared he might become violent.

"I'm having some spouse problems," Katherina Allen told a 911 dispatcher.

At the end of the call, she said, "He's here, and the police are here, too. I have to," and then she stopped speaking.

Officers heard gunshots when they arrived and saw Kevin Allen, 51, leaving the restaurant with a shotgun. Police Chief Scott Mielke said officers shot him when he refused to surrender, and he died at the scene.

Police records dating back nearly 20 years painted a picture of Kevin Allen, married at least three times, as a violent man with a history of threatening his wives and others. Just two days before the restaurant shooting, Katherina Allen told police in their hometown, Strongsville, 20 miles southwest of Cleveland, that she had left her husband and taken their daughters after "an incident" on Easter and was afraid to go home to collect their belongings.

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