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Fairfield County – Scholarship Honoring Fallen Hero Awarded to Washington High School Senior


Kirksville, May 12, 2024 – In a poignant tribute to the memory of Kirksville Police Chief Steven Eric Disario, a scholarship established in his honor has been awarded to a deserving student at Washington High School. Chief Disario, who tragically lost his life in the line of duty on May 12, 2017, continues to be remembered for his bravery and selflessness.

The scholarship, initiated in 2018, aims to commemorate Chief Disario’s legacy by supporting the educational aspirations of local students. This year, the esteemed award was bestowed upon Garrett Wahl, a graduating senior from Washington High School. Wahl, with aspirations to pursue studies in Marketing and Finance, alongside a minor in Political Science, has been accepted to Heidelberg University.

Chief Disario’s sacrifice on that fateful day in 2017 serves as a reminder of the inherent dangers faced by law enforcement officers in the line of duty. Responding to a report concerning an armed individual, identified as Thomas Hartless, Chief Disario courageously confronted the assailant at Pine Kirk Care Center. Tragically, during a shootout with Hartless, Chief Disario sustained fatal injuries while valiantly protecting others.

In the aftermath of the harrowing incident, which claimed the lives of two female workers at the nursing home, Hartless was found deceased inside the facility, having reportedly taken his own life. Despite the chaos and devastation, law enforcement swiftly secured the area, ensuring the safety of residents and bringing the situation under control by 10:00 a.m.

As Garrett Wahl embarks on his academic journey, supported by the scholarship honoring Chief Disario, the community extends its heartfelt congratulations and wishes him success in all his future endeavors. Chief Disario’s legacy of courage and service lives on through the lives he touched and the scholarship that bears his name.