Her scream was unlike any Paula Murray had ever heard.
“What I heard … was, 'Oh no, what did you do? Why did you do that? Oh my god.' And then I heard her scream this bloody scream, and then I heard pop, pop, pop, pop. And silence,” Mrs. Murray said, recalling what might have been the last words of her neighbor, Amber Jones.
Four people inside the apartment — including the young boy — were shot. Two other children in the apartment at the time — ages 4 and 5 — were not injured.
Injured there were the woman, 45, a 39-year-old man, and a 26-year-old man.
The toddler later died at an area hospital, Lake Township police Chief Mark Hummer said. Lucas County Deputy Coroner Dr. Diane Scala-Barnett said autopsy results showed the 3-year-old was shot three times, once each in the head, neck, and hand, with a small caliber gun. It was ruled a homicide. Autopsy results on the other victims were unavailable Wednesday.
The names of the other wounded victims were not released, although Chief Hummer said one might be a new boyfriend or “interest” of Ms. Jones.
The first call to police came from a neighbor at 9:34 p.m. The woman told a dispatcher that shots had been fired and there was fighting outside.
The suspect went back to a truck “to get more bullets. … He got three bullets to load up his gun,” the woman said.
When three officers arrived on scene — five minutes after the first call to 911 — they were approached by one person with a gunshot wound. One officer stayed with that victim, while the other two officers approached the Laketon scene.
They were confronted in a parking lot by an armed man, later identified as Mr. Duran, and the three exchanged gunfire, Chief Hummer said.
It was not known on Wednesday who fired first or how many times Mr. Duran was shot. Neither officer, both reported to have fired their service weapons, was injured. Both officers are on paid administrative leave, per department policy. The names of the officers will not be released until after the investigation because of a clause in the department’s union agreement.
Mr. Duran, who authorities say was found with a 22-caliber handgun, is the first person to be shot and killed by Lake Township police, Chief Hummer said. The killings are the first reported homicides in the Wood County community of about 11,000 in the last 10 years.
Chief Hummer said the investigation is ongoing and, once it is complete, all of the information will be forwarded to the Wood County Prosecutor's Office for review. The initial investigation suggests, “the officers acted in an exemplary manner,” Chief Hummer said.
“Going to the hospital cause my chest hurts so bad and I think I might have had I slight heart attack last night,” he wrote. “I cant deal with this anymore. Your moving on to fast and my heart can't take it. I don't want to end dead and my son without his dad. U gave me no time to heal. I want my family and I will do what ever to make things better.”
Mr. Duran’s younger brother, Alexander Duran, 15, said Ms. Jones was Mr. Duran’s first girlfriend — the couple had been together for more than four years.
“Nobody expected this would actually happen,” the teen said. He added that his brother never made any references to violence and that he never knew him to have a gun.
The teen said on Tuesday, when his brother was leaving to go to Ms. Jones’ apartment he “seemed happy,” but said, “If anything happens to me tonight, I want everything to go to you and my son.”
Family and friends of Ms. Jones could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Based on police scanner traffic and the 911 calls released by Lake Township, it does not appear that anyone living in Ms. Jones’ building called police after shots were fired. Police had been on scene for about 20 minutes when they were alerted to a possible second crime scene at Ms. Jones’ apartment. A regional SWAT team was brought in to make entry to her residence.
Mrs. Murray said she heard four to six “pop” sounds — four after Ms. Jones screamed. Silence. And two more.
“I just can’t get out [of my head] her last words,” Mrs. Murray said fighting back tears. “And the screaming. It keeps playing over and over.”
Contact Taylor Dungjen at email@example.com or 419-724-6054 or on Twitter @tdungjen_blade.