Monday, April 28, 2003

Restaurant manager shot to death



By Erica Solvig
The Cincinnati Enquirer

CRESTVIEW HILLS - A manager at Applebee's Neighborhood Grill and Bar was shot and killed early Sunday after closing the restaurant, located just off Turkeyfoot Road.

Mark Smith of Burlington, a married father of two, was found dead in the restaurant's parking lot by a cleaning crew at about 4:30 a.m.

Smith had been night manager at the restaurant for about four months, but had worked at the chain eatery for some time before taking on those duties, said Col. Paul Herbst, chief of Lakeside Park/Crestview Hills police.

As night manager, Smith was the last one to close the store, Herbst said.

Smith, who police said was in his mid- to late 30s, was shot once in the face.

Police would not comment on a possible motive for the shooting or say if anything had been stolen.

"He seems to be a real positive guy that everyone seemed to like," Herbst said.

The exact time of the shooting is not known.

But Herbst said police had interviewed Applebee's employees and "we're pretty certain that everything was fine until 1:30 a.m."

The restaurant was closed Sunday and will remain closed today. Employees will be offered grief counseling today.

Employees at the scene Sunday declined comment, and a corporate representative could not be reached for comment.

The restaurant is located in a busy area near Thomas More College, Crestview Hills Mall and the municipal building.

"There's a lot of traffic through here almost all the time," Herbst said.

Crestview Hills and Kenton County police were on the scene until nearly 8 p.m.

They had roped off the parking lot and left the yellow police tape up overnight.

Next door, the parking lot at T.G.I. Friday's was full Sunday evening.

According to the Crestview Hills mayor, the last time this Kenton County community of 2,900 dealt with a violent incident like this was in 1998, when a 66-year-old woman was found strangled in her home. Fred Furnish of Covington was convicted of that crime and was sentenced to the death penalty.

Anyone with information about Sunday's shooting is asked to call the Kenton County Police at (859) 356-3191.

E-mail esolvig@enquirer.com




TOP LOCAL STORIES
Victim's mother will witness execution
Details of Sherry Byrne's killing
What would it take to fix I-75?
Restaurant manager shot to death
Voinovich won't give on Bush tax cuts

PETER BRONSON COLUMN
Senator Skinflint

NEWS IN PHOTOS
Flower Show draws record crowd
Holocaust remembered

CINCINNATI-HAMILTON COUNTY
GOP council slate focuses on crime
Disharmony in Wyoming over strings program
Development plan follows trend
Princeton makes case for school bond issue

AROUND THE TRISTATE
Tristate A.M. Report
Poll shows conflict on college admission policy
High School Theater Review
Good News: Springer grad looks back to give
Obituary: Patricia Molloy was chief labor-delivery nurse
Obituary: Ronald Snell inspired Mariemont students
Congrats

BUTLER COUNTY
Fairfield has revised plan for Ohio 4

WARREN COUNTY
Corwin House users help to plan improved services
Mason residents can chat with cops

OHIO
Ohio Moments: Ripcord parachute first tested in Dayton

KENTUCKY
Prom season brings drinking warning - to parents
'Alien' ad alienates Lunsford critics
Ohio River bridges priority in Louisville
Meat Shower part of history

INDIANA
O'Bannon ready to sign Indiana budget

TOP WEEKEND STORIES
Purple People Bridge links Newport, downtown
Lemmie still fascinating, but honeymoon is over
Lakota hopes quality grows with buildings
Families share memories of fire's victims
Holocaust tales of survival
Colleges come to terms with SARS