Murdered Kerry man's family fears they may lose California home
O’Sullivan was shot dead by neighbor Kenneth John Zimmerman, 56, while on his tractor on Sunday, August 16 after what police said, was an ongoing feud between neighbors got out of control. Zimmerman shot the Kerry man once in the side and twice in the back. The two men had been in a long-standing dispute over an access gate to land.
Clem O’Sullivan said Zimmerman has “constantly harassed” them through the years.
“The truth is we have police reports going back three years of Ken (Zimmerman) harassing us,” explains Clem O’Sullivan.
On the night of the murder Amador County Sheriff's Office received a call from Zimmerman to say that his Irish neighbor had broken through his locked gate on a tractor, damaging his property.
Zimmerman told police dispatchers that O’Sullivan had struck him in the face and then attempted to run him over with his tractor. He then told police they had better get there quickly “before I shoot him.”
On arrival, police discovered Zimmerman blocking the road with a car. He told officers that O’Sullivan was near the gate he had driven through. Zimmerman also told them the gun he fired was in the house.
Officers discovered O’Sullivan’s body limped over on his tractor.
Zimmerman, charged with murder, is currently being held without bail.
Reliving the day that her husband was taken from her, Clem O’Sullivan said she was in the middle of cooking John a special dinner when she realized he was not in the house.
On the way home from a fishing excursion with her daughter, Clem O’Sullivan said she encountered Zimmerman at the gate in front of her home.
“He was harassing us as usual, and when I got back to the house I just downplayed it when John asked me what he wanted,” recalls Clem O’Sullivan.
O’Sullivan left the house, told his younger daughter he was visiting their friend, Ann, and he never returned.
“I just knew something was up. It was when Lydia told me that Daddy was gone to Ann’s that I had a feeling in my stomach. I knew Ann wasn’t there. I rushed outside to look for John and that’s when I heard gun shots,” remembers Clem O’Sullivan.
According to Clem O’Sullivan, Zimmerman began screaming at her when she came looking for her husband.
“He was streaming. ‘You’re f***ing dead bitch,’ at me,” recalls Clem O’Sullivan.
Since O’Sullivan’s death life has been anything but easy for the family. According to Clem O’Sullivan, a local newspaper has printed untrue facts about her husband, tarnishing his good name and causing her eight-year-old daughter much distress at school.
O’Sullivan had once been accused of abusing animals. Not true said his wife. O’Sullivan was never convicted.
“My daughter was held down at school and told ‘Your dad was a dumba** and he deserved to die,’” said Clem O’Sullivan.
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