Worker Shot Dead at Ohio School

B I D W E L L, Ohio, Sept. 5, 2000 -- A man today shot his estranged wife to death inthe parking lot of an elementary school and killed himself at home, a coroner said.

Linda Shoemaker, 52, was shot several times by her husband,Frank, 66, at 6:25 a.m. while in her car at Bidwell-PorterElementary School, where she was a cook, said Gallia County CoronerDr. Daniel Whiteley. No students were in the building.

“There were at least three shotgun casings on the ground aroundher car,” he said.

Another cook heard several shots being fired and calledauthorities, Gallia County Sheriff J.D. Taylor said.

Frank Shoemaker’s body was found about 30 minutes later in a lawnchair in his front yard in Cheshire, about eight miles from theschool, Whiteley said. He had shot himself with the same gun heused to kill his wife, Whiteley said.

Wife Had Court Order of ProtectionThe couple were getting a divorce, Taylor said. Mrs. Shoemakerhad obtained a court order of protection against him and recentlymoved out of their home, Taylor said. She had been living inBidwell, a small Appalachian community about 80 miles southeast ofColumbus near the West Virginia border.

The school was closed today because of the shooting. Classes had begun Aug. 28 and were expected to resume Wednesday for theschool’s 400 students.

Gallia County Local Schools Superintendent Bob Lanning said Mrs.Shoemaker had worked six years at the school.

“She was a valued employee and was well thought of by theschool and the community. Students really had a high regard forher. They respected her a lot,” Lanning said.

Her husband was self-employed, working construction and otherodd jobs, said Jim Fife, who had lived about a mile away from thecouple.

Fife said he had talked to the Shoemakers within the past fewweeks and that he didn’t know they were having marital problems.

“This is such a shock to me. I’ve known them both all mylife,” Fife said. “He’s never been in any kind of trouble and hasnever been a violent person. Something terrible must have happenedto make him do this.”