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Published: Friday, 10/19/2012 - Updated: 1 year ago

Sales clerk followed protocol in sale of gun to Lake Township shooting suspect, store says

BY TAYLOR DUNGJEN
AND JENNIFER FEEHAN
BLADE STAFF WRITERS

The man who police say went on a domestic-related shooting rampage in Lake Township purchased the gun less than an hour before the first call to 911 was made.

The 22-caliber semiautomatic handgun was purchased at a Bass Pro Shop at 8:37 p.m. Tuesday, Lake Township police Chief Mark Hummer said. The first report of the incident, a 911 call made by a neighbor, was received at 9:34 p.m.

Larry Whitley, manager of communications for Bass Pro Shops, said proper protocol was followed when Jorge Duran Jr., 24, bought the gun.

Mr. Whitely said Mr. Duran correctly filled out the required forms and passed a government background check. Employees who sell guns are trained to look for unusual behavior.

"If we don’t feel right about it, we won’t even turn in the forms. We’ll turn ’em down right there,” Mr. Whitely said. “Everything was normal.”

Chief Hummer said there was no way the sales clerk could have known Mr. Duran’s intentions.

Mr. Duran of Toledo went to Eastpointe on the Mall Tuesday night, first to his estranged girlfriend’s Lakepointe Drive apartment, where he fatally shot Amber Jones, 26. He took the couple’s 3-year-old son, Jorge Duran III, from the apartment and went to a second, nearby apartment on Laketon Terrace, where he shot three adults who lived there and fatally wounded the toddler.

When police arrived, officers and Mr. Duran exchanged gunfire; Mr. Duran was pronounced dead at the scene. The two officers involved in the shooting were not injured.

A spokesman for Wood County Coroner Douglas Hess said Ms. Jones and Mr. Duran both died from gunshot wounds. Dr. Hess would not release any further information until the investigation is completed.

Those wounded in the shooting were Steve Brown, 26; Janet Brown, 45, and Mark McCrory, 39.

Mr. Brown is being treated for a reported gunshot wound to the head at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center where is he listed in critical condition, a hospital spokesman said.

Both Ms. Brown, Mr. Brown’s mother, and Mr. McCrory were interviewed by police at the hospital on Wednesday, and “pretty much confirmed what we believed happened,” Chief Hummer said.

Mr. Brown was shot when he answered Mr. Duran’s knock on the door of the Laketon Terrace apartment; he managed to crawl out of a back door, where he was found by police.

Michelle Clossick, executive director of the Cocoon Shelter in Bowling Green, said the violent incident steps up the need to let women in abusive relationships know that help is available.

“It’s devastating,” she said. “Our hearts go out to the community and really it’s more about our responsibility to get the word out about services being available and the importance of advocacy and to please call for help whether you’re trying to support a friend or a family member or you’re in a situation and you’re afraid.”

While the shelter provides a safe haven for at-risk women and their children, Ms. Clossick said staff also can help women create a safety plan, access services, and make their way through the court system.

“In Wood County we’re trying to improve our coordinated response routinely, but we have comprehensive services available to victims,” Ms. Clossick said. “The tragic thing is despite that, we can’t prevent every homicide.”

She said she was struck by how in the case of the Lake Township homicides, neighbors and even the police chief said they were not accustomed to such violence.

“Domestic violence doesn’t discriminate,” Ms. Clossick said. “And when there are domestic-violence homicides, one in five involves injury or death to bystanders. This case is one of the most dramatic, most traumatic instances of that that we’ve seen. A child being murdered, it doesn’t get more tragic than that.”

The Cocoon Shelter opened in 2005 after a string of domestic violence homicides in Wood County. Since then, the need for its services has been “enormous,” Ms. Clossick said. Its staff, which has grown from one in 2005 to 11 today, expects to respond to 1,500 calls for help this year.

“We’re housing about 70 victims of domestic violence annually for between 3,000 and 3,500 nights for safe emergency housing,” she said.

“That’s an issue of capacity. We can’t go a lot over that.”

In Wood County, people in need of help or those concerned about the safety of a loved one may call the Link at 1-800-472-9411 any time, 24 hours a day, to be connected with an advocate from Cocoon. In Lucas County, call the YWCA Battered Women’s crisis line, 1-888-341-7386.

Contact Taylor Dungjen at: tdungjen@theblade.com or 419-724-6064.



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