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Published: Saturday, 7/31/2004

Woman fatally shot by man who takes own life on Sylvania Avenue

A police detective interviews witnesses to a slaying and suicide outside Payless Construction Inc. on Sylvania Avenue. A police detective interviews witnesses to a slaying and suicide outside Payless Construction Inc. on Sylvania Avenue.
KING / BLADE Enlarge

A 46-year-old man yesterday fatally shot his ex-girlfriend in the head and police said he then turned the gun on himself in West Toledo. He died as a result of an incident similar to a knife attack 20 years ago by the same man against another woman.

Tina Hill, 37, of 5832 East Benalex Dr., who is listed as Tina Garren in hospital and some court records, died at 5:17 p.m.

Rocky L. Rogers of 1042 Whittier St. died at 9:30 p.m. in Toledo Hospital, a hospital spokesman said.

The shooting occurred about 1:15 p.m. in the 1300 block of West Sylvania Avenue next to Payless Construction Inc., where Hill worked, a company employee said.

Police said it appears Rogers visited Hill at the business and an altercation ensued. Outside the office, Rogers pulled a handgun and shot Hill in the head, then shot himself in the head, police said.

The attack bore a similarity to one in 1983 involving Rogers and his estranged wife, Kristina Rogers. He was charged with attempted murder for stabbing his wife during a domestic quarrel. He suffered a self-inflicted stab wound in the chest. She also survived.

He spent four years in prison for the incident, said JoEllen Culp, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

Amanda Hill, who identified herself as Tina Hill's niece, said Rogers had a history of violence against her aunt.

"He [was] abusive toward her," Amanda Hill said. "I'm really angry."

Toledo Municipal Court records indicate he had several cases for offenses this month, including domestic violence, assault, and violating a temporary protection order - all involving Tina Hill. Records also show an array of misdemeanor and traffic offenses dating to 1978.

Michael Colon, who was in a car on Sylvania, said he saw Rogers beating Hill, stopped the car, and came back to try and help, but was too late.

"We saw her bleeding," said Mr. Colon, 19 of West Toledo. "She tried speaking."

Mike Shaheen, a remodeler who has worked for Payless for 15 years, arrived about the same time. He was on his way to pick up his paycheck when he came across Hill's body.

He said her relationship with Rogers had a history of problems. "I didn't see them fight, but I heard them argue," he said. "When he gets drunk, he gets nasty."

The 75-year-old man from Oregon said it was always a pleasure to work with Hill.

"She's a very nice lady - smart, smiled all the time," he said.

- Ryan E. Smith

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