Youngstown officer shot dead while sitting at traffic light 16 years ago

Local News

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A somber anniversary is being observed in the Valley on Monday. Sixteen years ago, Youngstown Police Officer Michael Hartzell died while serving the community.

Martin Kolesar shot and killed Hartzell as both men sat at a traffic light downtown. At the time, Hartzell was driving back to the police station.

He, along with fellow Officer Bob DiMaiolo and a turn sergeant, had all been assigned to the same call that morning.

“We were sent to a shooting on the west side and after we cleared the shooting, Officer Hartzell went downtown to finish the paperwork,” DiMaiolo said. “I went back to the south side and that’s when he was murdered, going down on station.”

DiMaiolo remembers working for 48 hours straight as part of the manhunt for Kolesar. Days later, he was captured at a motel in Florida.

Today, DiMaiolo still sports the tattoo of Hartzell’s badge number. He got it soon after the officer’s death.

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