Records show escalating domestic violence leading up to Newark shooting

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NEWARK, OH (WCMH) — It was late on a Wednesday night, June 28th, when a neighbor called 911 to report a fight between Sarah Bennett and Phillip Parker.

When the Newark police dispatcher said, “We will have officers en route as soon as we have them available,” the neighbor expressed some concern. “The sooner the better or the Sheriff’s Office or whoever because it’s getting bad,” he reported.

Parker was charged with disorderly conduct. In their report officers indicated that Parker had threatened to kill Bennett that night.

Parker posted bond and was ordered to stay away from Bennett and from the apartment.

But Bennett called police on Sunday to report Parker had again threatened to kill her and that he had a gun. Police say they tried but could not locate Parker Sunday night.

Monday morning, Sarah Bennett was running for her life after being chased and shot at by Parker on North 21st street. Police say Parker accidentally shot himself during the pursuit. He died at the scene.

Kelly Campbell, executive director of the New Beginnings Shelter in Licking County, says the cycles of domestic violence always get worse. “What might start out as verbal abuse or shoving then turns to hitting and punching and then turns into more serious forms of aggression where it’s, ‘I’ve got a weapon and I’m threatening you’,” Campbell said.

And that’s what happened in this case.

For many, Monday’s shooting was reminiscent of a shooting in May in Kirkersville where three people were killed including the gunman’s ex-girlfriend who had obtained protection orders against him.

Kelly Campbell’s first reaction Monday morning was, “Not again.”

“Not that I can’t believe it was happening because I know that it happens. But for it to happen so publicly and so violently is scary and sad.”

“But it sot of reaffirms our mission and philosophy that we need to go out there and just be open to educating people and standing there saying we can help,” Campbell said. “My hope is that out of this situation somebody, somewhere who’s in a similar situation will see this and go, ‘I don’t want to end up like this so where do I need to go for help.”

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