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Off-duty EMT helps shot Ohio woman

A woman who had been shot and stabbed by her ex-husband drove to the first house she found, which happened to be that of a firefighter and EMT

By Mary Beth Lane
The Columbus Dispatch

COLUMNUS, Ohio — Shot multiple times and stabbed in the neck, the wounded woman drove to the first house she found in the Hocking Hills.

The haven that Kimberly S. Napoli found on Saturday night, after she had been injured and her friend had been shot to death, was the home of a Logan firefighter and emergency medical technician, Joe Ellis.

Her ex-husband, Michael J. Napoli, who shot himself in the head yesterday, has been charged in Hocking County Municipal Court with aggravated murder, attempted murder and aggravated burglary.

The off-duty firefighter assessed her wounds and soothed her while on the phone with a Hocking County 911 dispatcher.

“Honey, I’m so sorry; I can’t believe someone would do this to you,” Ellis said as he gently snipped away pieces of her bloodied clothing so he could find the wounds.

There were a lot. To the dispatcher, he reported, “I don’t know, there’s too many injuries.”

Ellis ticked them off as he examined Napoli: shot in the left shoulder, right forearm, right chest and left buttocks, and a knife wound in her neck.

Napoli told him that her ex-husband had shot her and someone else at WildWood Retreat, a rental cabin nearby that is operated by Hocking Hills Backwoods Retreat.

The shooter was at-large. As Ellis worked on Kimberly Napoli and talked to the dispatcher, he calmly told his wife to bring him his loaded gun. Just in case, he said.

Authorities are continuing to put together the events that began in Hocking County on Saturday and concluded in an EconoLodge room about 70 miles away in Jeffersonville in Fayette County.

A motel housekeeper led authorities to Napoli’s ex-husband on Sunday night. She saw the van that authorities were seeking parked in the motel’s back lot. After she had double-checked broadcast news reports and news websites about the van and the license plate, she dialed Fayette County 911 at 11:37 p.m.

“I know where it’s at,” she told the dispatcher. “Oh, my God.”

Deputies arrived about midnight Sunday and used motel surveillance footage and a desk clerk’s identification of a photo of Michael Napoli to verify that it was him, Fayette County Sheriff Vernon P. Stanforth said.

The sheriff’s special-response team gathered at the one-story motel off I-71. Deputies evacuated the 20-plus guests from their rooms. A negotiator talked to Napoli on the phone, but he stayed holed up in Room 231.

“We talked to him extensively on the telephone, for several hours,” Stanforth said. “He would hang up; he would get irate. We would call back. He would answer or not answer.”

Stanforth would not disclose what was said.

Daylight approached. “He was becoming more irrational and delusional,” Stanforth said. “He had become extremely agitated. He had indicated that he was armed. Officer safety was now the issue, especially with daylight coming. We decided to extract him.”

The team broke the room’s window from the outside yesterday morning, tossed in a percussion grenade and then sprayed tear gas. He didn’t come out. The deputies then broke down the door, which Napoli had barricaded with furniture.

They found him unconscious, sitting in a chair. He had shot himself in the head, Stanforth said. It was about 6:15 a.m. Napoli was flown to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton. The hospital said it had no record of him there late yesterday, and authorities had no information on his condition.

Napoli, 33, of 3525 Rangoon Dr. in Blendon Township in northern Franklin County, is accused of shooting Kimberly Napoli, 32, of Westerville, and fatally shooting her friend James Robert Boergers Jr., 31, of Jacksonville, Fla., at the rental cabin on Rt. 678, Hocking County Sheriff Lanny North said.

OhioHealth Grant Medical Center, where Kimberly Napoli was flown, had no information on her condition last night.

Michael and Kimberly Napoli were married in 2006 and were divorced last year. They have two children together, and she has a third child.

It is thought that he found out through social media where she was spending the weekend, North said.

Ellis, who has worked for the Logan Fire Department since 2003, downplayed his role yesterday.

“The only thing I did was relayed all the information to the dispatchers,” he said. “I didn’t do anything extravagant.”


©2014 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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