The Wichita Police Department lied when it said it didn’t know where to find a man — wanted for violating a protective order and under investigation for pointing a gun at his wife — before he murdered her, her parents say.
Starting three weeks before Randy “Rocky” Gile ran his wife, Kristin, off the road and shot and killed her and himself, police knew where he worked and stayed. That’s because she put the address in a protective order against him, Rick and Lisa Florio say.
Gary Austerman, an attorney for the business listed in the protective order as Gile’s workplace, said Gile was “a very good employee” and skilled mechanic who worked at that address eight to 12 hours a day, sometimes sleeping in his vehicle on the premises. Gile came to work during the last week of his life, Austerman said.
The Florios say their daughter also told the police detective investigating an aggravated assault case against Gile where he could be found, her parents say.
And then two days before Gile murdered 33-year-old Kristin, her parents say, police had an opportunity to stop him: They could have arrested him at the courthouse when he showed up for a protective-order hearing. At that point, police had an order to arrest him for violating the protection order. It ordered him to stay away from his wife and their six children, ages 3 to 12.
“So they (police) cannot tell us that they did not know about his whereabouts. That is a complete lie,” Rick Florio said.
“They knew where he was,” Lisa Florio added.
“I just want to know: Did they attempt to look for him,” she said. “They could have found him. I don’t even think they looked.”
The parents were responding to an article published by The Wichita Eagle Sunday in which the Police Department gave an account of how it handled the case against Gile. Police spokesman Officer Paul Cruz said an order for Gile’s arrest went to all officers after he violated a protective order filed by his wife but that police “did not have any leads” on where he was.
Wednesday evening, the Police Department issued a statement that said in part: “WPD staff is constantly looking for wanted individuals and making arrests of criminals. In 2018 there have been almost 3,700 domestic abuse warrants issued. Additionally, most suspects who have warrants for their arrest will hide and work to avoid the police at all costs. In the Kristin Gile case, Randy had rented a car.
“Unfortunately, offenders like Randy Gile are often undeterred by a $25,000 bond.”
‘Most evil look’
On Oct. 6, Gile — under police investigation after he allegedly threatened his wife with a gun and violated an order protecting her — used a rental car with an out-of-state license plate to track her down.
As she drove her SUV between Wichita and Derby, Gile chased her along 63rd Street in Derby. Her father had been driving ahead of her.
In his first public comments about the Oct. 6 shooting, Rick Florio recalled the attack on him and his daughter.
“All of the sudden, I heard, ‘pop-pop-pop-pop-pop.’” Gunfire.
He saw Gile pull beside him — “and give me the most evil look I’ve ever seen.”
Rick Florio’s truck was left with 13 bullet holes. He was wounded in his left side.
“I think his intention was to take me out first.”
Rick Florio and his daughter had gone to her south Wichita home — the home from which she and her children had fled three weeks earlier — to get bunk beds and clothes. She and her children were staying at her parents’ home. Father and daughter were on their way back to the parents’ home when Gile launched his attack along 63rd Street.
Once Rick Florio saw Gile, he tried to keep his truck between Gile’s rental car and his daughter’s SUV.
The father rammed the rear of Gile’s car twice, damaging but not disabling the attacker’s car. Gile managed to drive on in his silver rental car and keep chasing Kristin as she fled in her black SUV to the east.
Rick Florio can’t remember everything that happened.
Somehow, his daughter, with Gile still closing in, drove off ahead of her father.
About a mile east of Rock on 63rd, Gile caused his wife’s SUV to spin off the road and into a barbed wire fence.
He shot her multiple times, then shot himself. They both died there.
Pointed guns at her
The police comment about no leads on Gile’s whereabouts was false, the Florios say, because Kristin put in her Sept. 17 protective order that he worked as a diesel mechanic at a business on South Hydraulic. It’s just a couple of miles from the couple’s home. Gile inhabited a small world.
She also told the detective investigating the aggravated assault case against Gile where he was, her parents say. Gile supposedly was staying in a loft at the business where he worked, Rick Florio said.
Gile at one point had his wife and six children stay at the loft because he was so controlling, Rick Florio said.
Late on the night of Sept. 15, Gile had allegedly pointed a gun at his wife at their home on a cul-de-sac in south Wichita, near 55th and Hydraulic.
In her protective order two days later, she detailed dangerous and violent abuse. He “pulled out a AK47, 2 rifles and his pistol. He cocked them and had them pointed at me. My kids saw this … .”
At another time, she wrote in the court document, he “choke slammed — me standing up by my bed onto my bed.”
He was 6 feet 5, 255 pounds, according to the protective order. She was much smaller.
She wrote that he “Squeezed my face so I wouldn’t scream. Strangled me — because I wouldn’t let him do something he wanted to do.” A sex act.
In June, she wrote on the same document that he “Tried running me over twice — He was mad at me. Threatened to kill me numerous … times. Pulled guns on me, where he actually pointed it at my head, and shot it off on the right side of my ear.”
On the night of Sept. 15, Kristin told her mother, Gile cocked a gun and threatened “to take her and all of them (the children) out.”
Lisa Florio said her daughter called that night and said, “Mom, what am I supposed to do?”
“Call the police now!’’ Lisa Florio told her.
Gile and Kristin had been married 13 years, with six children ages 3 to 12.
After he pointed the gun at her on Sept. 15, she left her home with her children.
And she called police.
Wichita police seized three guns from Gile, noted he was under the influence of alcohol and booked him into jail on seven counts of aggravated assault — one each for his wife and six young children — and one count of criminal threat.
But he was released on a $25,000 bond within a day of his arrest, on Sept. 17. That same day, Kristin filed her protective order. The order required him to stay away from her and the children.
Police had yet to finish presenting their case to prosecutors, so no charges had been filed by the time he killed her and himself.
But after Gile violated the protective order on Oct. 1, police put out an order for officers to arrest him if they could find him, police told The Eagle last week.
Police assured Kristin that they might re-arrest her husband on Oct. 4, or no later than Oct. 5, a day before he killed her, her parents say.
Police could have arrested Gile “right then and there” at the Oct. 4 hearing, Rick Florio said.
The police detective investigating the aggravated assault case against Gile “told her that it was a good chance that he could be arrested at the PFA hearing,” Rick Florio said. “We were counting on him being arrested at the hearing that day.”
Lisa Florio, who stayed with her daughter at the hearing, said they saw Gile walk into the courthouse and sit a row behind and to the side of them.
The hearing was continued until early November so he could get an attorney, Lisa Florio said.
“We tried to keep her safe,” Lisa Florio said. “She loved those kids with all her heart. Those kids were her world. And she told them, ‘You are what keeps me going.’”
System is faulted
The legal system needs to be designed to better protect domestic violence victims, Rick Florio said.
Someone like Gile should not be able to bond out of jail so soon, he said.
“A woman needs time to get away from her husband in these cases.”
Kristin’s parents said Gile was using surveillance cameras around the couple’s home to watch her. Gile could view the cameras from his cellphone, Lisa Florio said.
And there’s another part of the system that needs to change, Rick Florio said: Two different times in the past two years Rick Florio called 911 to seek charges against Gile on behalf of his daughter. He was told that she would have to press charges.
But his daughter was too terrified at that point, he said.
Gile would point a gun at his wife to force her to have sex, her parents say.
A month or two before the murder, when Kristin asked her husband if he was using drugs, he fired a gun so close to her that it damaged her hearing for a month, her mother said.
Gile had a daily ritual of threatening her with a handgun, her parents say.
He would tell her, “It’s either me, or you get the gun.”
With her living under such threats, it’s understandable that she was reluctant to call police, her father said.
Woman to woman
One thing that gives Lisa Florio comfort is the knowledge that her daughter helped another woman two days before she died.
The woman sent Lisa Florio this text message:
“I met her Thursday while I as in court getting my PFA (Protection From Abuse). We sat next to each other and bonded over our situation and she was such an inspiring and beautiful woman. I appreciated her so much because she made me feel confident and beautiful myself with her words of encouragement. While we sat there she expressed concerns for all the women who were around us.
“I will never forget when her name was called and she stood up with you and walked away. I felt like I made a wonderful friend an unexpected friend.
“As she was leaving she waved, smiled and mouthed ‘good luck’ and I will never forget that ever. I am so grateful to have met (her).”
When Kristin went to the Oct. 4 protective-order hearing, she had a police officer escort her into and out of the courthouse.
“She was so scared,” Lisa Florio said.
‘It starts like this’
One of Kristin’s friends has shared photos with The Eagle that Kristin had taken of her own bruised face and body, to document the abuse she was suffering.
It’s not clear when Kristin took the photos. The images show bruising around her eye, neck and lower body.
Lisa Florio, who hadn’t seen the photos until Monday, said she is sure that her daughter would want other women to see what had happened to her.
“She would want these women to know it starts like this,” Lisa Florio said.
“I guarantee that Kristin would want those to be shown. She would not want anyone else out there to be going through what she was going through.”