Putnam man killed wife's lover over planned move

By OLIVER W. PRICHARD
THE JOURNAL NEWS
(Original publication: June 29, 2002)

KENT A construction worker who killed his estranged wife's lover with a shotgun before committing suicide Thursday was apparently distraught over his wife's plan to move their six children from Putnam County to the boyfriend's Long Island home, police said yesterday.

"His thought process was that the victim was basically trying to steal his family," said Kent Detective Kevin Owens.

The slaying happened at 4 p.m. Thursday after a heated argument outside the home of Lori Ann Hagerman and her seven children, including a 13-year-old girl who witnessed her father's rampage from a window in the house.

When Hagerman's boyfriend, Jens Runge, tried to drive away from the house, her husband, Rafael Jiminez, grabbed a shotgun and walked alongside the car, unloading four blasts into the Lincoln Navigator.

"Rafael was following the truck down the driveway, firing into the driver's-side window," Owens said.

"At some point, Runge lost control of the vehicle and crashed into the woods," Owens said. "He gets out of the truck, by this point badly injured with defensive pellet wounds to his arms and chest, and tries to run away. Jiminez somehow gets close to him and fires his last and final round into the side of his head."

Jiminez, 41, then grabbed a handful of shells from his car and ran into the dense woods behind the house.

Within minutes of Hagerman's 911 call, some 50 police officers with search dogs and a helicopter were combing the woods, cordoning off roads near the shooting and ordering residents to stay in their homes.

At 5:37 p.m., the officers heard a blast from the woods. They later found Jiminez dead from a single shotgun wound to the head. Inside Jiminez's wallet, police found a photo of him, Hagerman and their six children.

"It's really sad and, frankly, it feels like a nightmare," said Laurie Gallo-Calistri, who owns the home at 9 Old Forge Lane where the killing took place. "My heart goes out to Lori and those children."

Hagerman and Runge had planned to move Jiminez's six children five girls and one boy ranging from 3 to 16 years old as well as the couple's own 3-month-old girl, into Runge's home in eastern Long Island.

The Kent house was totally packed up, and movers had been scheduled to come yesterday.

At the time of the shooting, Hagerman, 34, was outside, holding her 3-month-old baby. Five of Jiminez's six children were also inside the split-level ranch home when the attack happened.

Hours after the shooting, Hagerman and the children met with crisis counselors at Putnam Hospital Center in Carmel.

"They're a mess," Owens said.

Runge, 36, was a German native who worked as a vice president for Direct Media Inc., a direct mailing company with offices in Greenwich, Conn. The company had no comment yesterday.

Jiminez, who worked for a Westchester-based home building company, had been living at the Bel Aire Motel on Route 22 in Brewster.

Gallo-Calistri, who had been renting the home to Hagerman since December, said Jiminez was a polite man who doted on his young children.

"From my limited interaction, he appeared to be a wonderful father," she said. She also said Runge was a "really nice fellow very warm, very personable."

Jiminez arrived at the house Thursday to help one of his children make repairs to a bicycle. He had apparently surprised Hagerman by not calling in advance of his arrival, as he usually did, police said.

Runge was already at the house and, when the adults began arguing, Hagerman suggested they take it outside because the children were home, police said.

"Who knows what was going through his mind," Kent police Lt. Alex DiVernieri said of Jiminez.

For Yesterday's Story click HERE



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