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Published: Thursday, 12/7/2006

Owner of gun in shooting lacks a permit, police say


A bail bondsman whose gun was used in an apparent suicide outside a West Toledo apartment complex does not have a concealed-carry permit, police said yesterday.

Clifford W. Skiles, 34, of 637 Broadway, died of a single gunshot wound to the chest after he took the gun belonging to the bondsman, Thomas Holmes, 66, of Archbold, Ohio, and shot himself, authorities said.

A final ruling on Skiles' manner of death remains under investigation, said Dr. Cynthia Beisser, a Lucas County deputy coroner.

John Weglian, chief of the special units division of the Lucas County Prosecutor's Office, said he did not foresee any charges being filed in the case.

"About the only thing they could have charged him with was [carrying a concealed weapon], but from what I was told the weapon wasn't concealed," Mr. Weglian said.

Mr. Holmes went to Skiles' mother's home Tuesday at Sunnybrook Meadows Apartments, 5333 Lewis Ave., to take Skiles into custody on a Henry County warrant.

Mr. Holmes told police he carried the unloaded gun in the trunk of his vehicle, and loaded it before he went to Skiles' mother's residence.

Once inside the apartment, Mr. Holmes had the gun in a holster on his person in plain view. Skiles apparently did not want to go to jail, the two men struggled, and Mr. Holmes pulled out the gun. The two men then fought over the weapon, police said.

Skiles gained possession of the gun, fled the apartment, and jumped into the back seat of a waiting vehicle, occupied by a woman and her teenage daughter.

The two females got out of the vehicle when they saw the gun and Skiles shot himself, police said.

Skiles staggered back to the apartment building, where police found him wounded on the top of a set of outside stairs. He died about 30 minutes later at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center.

Police said Mr. Holmes was inside the apartment and on the phone with 911 when the shooting occurred.

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