With a Wood County grand jury declining to indict two police officers, Lake Township police are closing the case on a shooting rampage in October that left three people dead and three others wounded.
The grand jury this week did not return indictments against Lake Township Police Sgt. Scott Sims and former Officer Shannon Badgett, Wood County Prosecutor Paul Dobson said Friday. Both officers fired weapons Oct. 16, killing Jorge Duran, Jr., 24, after Duran shot and killed his ex-girlfriend, Amber Jones, 26, and their 3-year-old son, Jorge Duran III. Mr. Dobson said police shot Duran as he pointed his gun at officers arriving on the scene.
“The grand jury reviewed it. I gave them potential homicide-related charges, which is standard procedure in a police-involved shooting, and they no-billed on everything,” Mr. Dobson said. “I think that the grand jury did exactly the right thing, as the police officers did as well.”
Lake Township Police Chief Mark Hummer, immediately after the rampage at the Eastpointe on the Mall apartment complex, said he asked the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation to review the shooting.
The chief said investigators concluded, as the grand jury did, the officers acted appropriately. He said officers had just arrived at the apartment complex on a call of shots fired and were trying to get to the apartment where the initial 911 call was placed when they encountered Duran. “He came out from under cover and came toward the officer, but his gun malfunctioned,” the chief said. “He was aiming at the officers, and they were ordering him to drop the weapon, and he did not, and they fired.”
Chief Hummer said by all accounts, the behavior was out of character for Duran, who relatives said was distraught over a break-up with Ms. Jones. He had learned she had a new boyfriend.
Duran first went to her apartment, where he shot her, then took their young son to an apartment where her new boyfriend lived.
Steve Brown, 26, answered the door and was shot in the head. Two others inside — Janet Brown, 45, and Mark McCrory, 39 — were shot, as was Duran’s son, before Duran headed outside. The three survivors are recovering from their injuries, the chief said.
“I have every reason to believe he did not intend to leave the scene alive,” he added. “He had many avenues of escape, and he chose none of them. He chose actually to go toward the officers that were responding.”
Sergeant Sims has been with Lake Township police for 15 years, while Officer Badgett had been with the department about 11 years. He resigned last month for personal reasons, and the chief said his departure was not related to the shooting incident.
“It was a horrific scene,” Chief Hummer said. “The officers did exactly what they are trained to do — something no one wanted to do, but something they needed to do. We don’t know where he would’ve stopped. He had bought 500 rounds of ammunition.”
Contact Jennifer Feehan at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-213-2134.