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Friends: No warning signs from officer who shot himself

By John Craven, Reporter, JCraven@wfmz.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 12:09:16 PM CST
Updated On: Oct 27 2013 09:08:39 AM CDT

Friends remember officer who shot himself

JIM THORPE, Pa. -

Friends and family said there were no warning signs before a Carbon County cop took a fellow officer hostage and killed himself Friday night.

David Midas and Chris Ondrus were brothers in blue, and by all accounts, best friends.

"They were always together and I'm not sure what happened last night," said Mark Kosica, who served with Midas in the Lansford fire department.

Friday night, police say David Midas -- a sheriff's lieutenant and part-time cop in Lansford -- drove an unmarked patrol car to Ondrus' house, forcing him to leave at gunpoint. 

The two drove 10 miles to Jim Thorpe, where police say Midas pulled over on Broadway, got out of the car, and shot himself in the head.

Carbon County's sheriff said Ondrus tried to stop his friend from pulling the trigger.

Midas was so well-liked in the community that he was considering a run for county sheriff.  Friends, family, and borough leaders said he showed no signs of trouble at all.

"Dave's a cheery guy," said longtime friend Joseph Murphy.  "He's more, 'Let's get together and let's have a good time.'"

Lansford Mayor Ron Hood said every officer has keys to the police station.  Two officers were on duty Friday nght, but neither was there when Midas showed up.  Hood said security cameras around the police station were not working Friday night.

As for why this all happened?

"I'm hearing bits and pieces of the storis that are out there.  I think a lot of them are fabricated," said Kosica.  "I think Chris was just in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Murphy said:  "Maybe there is an issue between those two that nobody knew about."

Midas' family said not want to appear on camera, but his cousin said he didn't appear to have any major problems.

Ondrus declined comment Saturday.