A Kansas City, Kan., woman said she never wanted her ex-fiancé, who she said broke into her home, shoved her and threatened to kill her over the weekend, to die.
Misty Bartlett, 43, was home with a friend and her 8-year-old son about 11 p.m. Saturday watching a movie when a fist pounding on their sliding glass door startled them.
Her ex-fiancé, Jarrod O’Donnell, 48, shattered the glass and attacked her, Bartlett said. The friend in the home eventually shot and killed O’Donnell, an act that Bartlett said was in self-defense.
Detective Cameron Morgan with the Kansas City, Kan., Police Department said initial information in the case points to a self-defense shooting, adding that O’Donnell died from multiple wounds to his abdomen. But he stressed that the investigation is ongoing.
Morgan said he believed O’Donnell had recently moved out of the house.
O’Donnell’s death came as a shock to his family and friends. They said the U.S. Navy veteran had anger issues and that he was in a turbulent relationship. But a friend said he was a loving and caring father who had a strong faith and helped care for others.
Bartlett said the attack was fueled in part by jealousy. When he attacked her, she said, he accused her of cheating even though they were no longer together.
The friend with her, a man, had comforted Bartlett after she’d ended her three-year relationship with O’Donnell. She declined to name the friend, who Bartlett said shot O’Donnell.
Bartlett said she warned O’Donnell as he attacked her that police were en route, that her young son was only a few feet away as he assailed her.
“I don’t care,” she recalled him saying. “I’m going to kill you.”
The friend with her ran upstairs, where he kept a gun.
After pushing her and screaming at her, O’Donnell ran upstairs, too, Bartlett said.
Bartlett raced outside with her son. She heard a gunshot.
Her friend, in shock, then came outside, she said. He told Bartlett, “I tried to stop him so he wouldn’t kill me and then you.”
Bartlett said that if not for her friend, “I think I would’ve been dead.”
The friend tried to quell O’Donnell’s rage, but when he started choking him, he aimed his gun low and fired into O’Donnell’s abdomen, Bartlett said.
James Bohon, O’Donnell’s former co-worker, said his late friend had good qualities.
“He was loved by his friends, family, co-workers and fellow veterans,” Bohon said. “He had a strong faith in Jesus Christ.”
O’Donnell studied physical therapy at Kansas State University and served in the U.S. Navy during the first Persian Gulf War in the early 1990s.
Most recently, O’Donnell was working in the siding and roofing industry, Bohon added.
“The relationship (with Bartlett) just seemed on-and-off for so long, I couldn’t tell when they were broke up or when they were back together,” Bohon said.
Bartlett said she’d broken up with him for good in early January when the already abusive relationship worsened, and that he’d moved out of the house they’d shared in the 1700 block of North 127th Street and moved to Bonner Springs.
On Jan. 11, O’Donnell pushed Bartlett into a bookshelf, grabbed her hair and poked her eye, she said. Police arrested him, and she filed a protection order but missed a court date in order to have it fully implemented for a year, she said.
O’Donnell had been charged with domestic battery in Kansas City, Kan., Municipal Court. He was scheduled to appear next month in court.
He also faced three other charges of domestic battery from incidents in 2016 and 2017. It was unclear whether those cases were pending.
O’Donnell struggled with opioid and alcohol addiction, she added. He was a “wonderful person” at times, “a monster” at others, Bartlett said.
Bartlett had the feeling the attack that eventually came on Saturday was “inevitable.”
“I hate that it happened, that he died,” she said. “Because I do love him, and I saw the torture he was going through, to try to get through his addiction.”
O’Donnell is survived by a teenaged son as well as his mother, two brothers and two sisters, according to his obituary.