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Published: Saturday, 8/3/2002

Victim's family had suffered earlier ‘senseless, dumb death'

Gunfire again has claimed the life of someone Diane Bodden loves.

As she grieves over the shooting death Thursday of her sister, Andrea Daniels, she remembers a similar death that occurred nearly 10 years ago.

Ms. Daniels' nephew, Frederick Daniels IV, 18, was shot and killed outside a Dorr Street carryout in November, 1992.

Like her nephew, Ms. Daniels “died a senseless, dumb death,” Ms. Bodden said.

Ms. Daniels, 35, of 324 Batavia St., was killed when two masked men entered the lower unit of a two-story duplex she owned at 348 Batavia and opened fire.

Ms. Daniels, who was known as Dini to family and friends, died of a single gunshot wound to the chest about 30 minutes after the shooting. She was shot in the back, and the bullet went through her right lung, Dr. Cynthia Beisser, a Lucas County deputy coroner, said after an autopsy.

Dr. Beisser said Ms. Daniels was shot with a handgun. A final ruling is pending routine toxicology tests.

The men, one armed with a handgun and the other with a shotgun, burst through a back door and confronted Ms. Daniels and a male acquaintance about 3:30 p.m.

Toledo police Sgt. Bob Maxwell said Ms. Daniels and her acquaintance were in the back of the house when the gunmen entered and told them to “get down.” The acquaintance tried to run, but was told to stop, which he did in the living room.

The sergeant said the acquaintance heard a shot and he knew that Ms. Daniels wasn't behind him. The acquaintance escaped by jumping through a living room window. Ms. Daniels was found shot in a bedroom. She later died in St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center.

Authorities initially thought Ms. Daniels evicted two tenants earlier in the day. They have since learned the people weren't tenants per se, but locals who moved into the vacant residence and were using it, possibly for illegal activities such as drugs and prostitution.

Ms. Daniels told the people to leave because of their suspected illegal activities, the sergeant said.

“We don't know how many people flopped there. There was a lot of transient traffic,” he said.

The sergeant did not know how long the house had been vacant.

Ms. Daniels was showing the residence to her acquaintance because he was looking for a place for his brother. The acquaintance is not a suspect in her death, the sergeant said.

Investigators declined to identify the acquaintance, but the victim's relatives said he is a childhood friend of Ms. Daniels' brother.

Police are trying to establish a motive for the shooting.

Brock Daniels, the victim's 15-year-old nephew, said he was visiting Ms. Daniels when the shooting occurred. He said he heard two shots and was running to 348 Batavia when he heard two more shots.

“I don't even believe it. [Ms. Daniels] was one of the most generous persons you can meet,” the teen said. “She would give homeless people money. She was beautiful and talented.”

He said Ms. Daniels had problems with a prior tenant, whom he said was involved in illegal activities.

While police continue their investigation, Lucas County Dog Warden Tom Skeldon is waiting for someone to claim a mixed pit bull that was removed from a back bedroom in the residence after the shooting.

He said the dog, which is less than 2 years old, has evidence of dog-fighting on its body. There are some scars on the dog's front legs and hip, he said.

Mr. Skeldon said if the dog's owner or a relative of the owner doesn't claim the dog, it will be euthanized.

Young Daniels said the dog belongs to a friend of Ms. Daniels.

One of the gunmen was described as 5 feet, 10 inches tall with a heavy build and wearing dark clothing. The other man was slightly taller and thinner. After the shooting, they fled on foot.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Crime Stopper program at 419-255-1111. Callers may remain anonymous and are eligible for a cash reward.



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