A man identified by his family as a University of Toledo graduate and the employee of a landscape company was shot to death while allegedly attempting to break into a West Toledo home early Saturday.
In a news release, Toledo police said Lucas Hassen, 24, was pronounced dead in the 4500 block of Douglas Road. His address was not released. City police investigators could not be reached Saturday to comment on the shooting.
About 1 a.m., police responding to a report of shots fired searched the area, and found the man in a neighbor’s yard, dead from an apparent gunshot wound.
Police said Bryan Loyer, 45, the homeowner, told police he woke to the sound of his side door being kicked in, grabbed his gun, and announced several times that he had a gun. Mr. Loyer told police that the person continued to try to get in, so Mr. Loyer fired the gun, at which time the suspected intruder fled, police said.
Joan Rutherford, 61, a neighbor, said she had fallen asleep on a couch in front of the television when she heard a knock at her door, then a short time later, at her back door. “I didn’t know who it was, so I won’t open up the doors at all,” she said.
About 30 minutes later, she saw police out front. When about an hour later, she could still hear police outside, she looked out a window into her back yard and saw a body on the ground. “That was a bit of a harrowing experience,” she said.
Ms. Rutherford said she has seen Bryan Loyer in the neighborhood, but does not know him.
No one answered the door at Mr. Loyer’s house when a Blade reporter knocked on the door seeking comment Saturday afternoon. There were bullet holes in a window by the back door of the house.
The incident remains under investigation.
Mr. Hassen, the son of Robert and Judith Hassen of Swanton, was a 2006 graduate of Central Catholic High School and a 2010 graduate of the University of Toledo with a degree in finance. He attended the university on an academic scholarship, according to his father.
Mr. Hassen said he did not believe that his son was in the process of burgling Mr. Loyer’s home. He said his son was out for the evening with friends and that they went to dinner and a bar, but that he had separated from his friends and they did not know where Mr. Hassen went. He said his son was living in Point Place and worked for a landscaping company.
“My son was too mild-mannered. He got his cell phone stolen a couple times and he talked about it for a long time how he hated theft. So for him to turn around and do that is not true, it can’t be done, not by him,” Mr. Hassen said.
He said he did not recognize Mr. Loyer’s name and did not know any reason why his son would be at that address.
A woman who answered the door at the home of Mr. Loyer’s parents in Oregon declined to comment and said Mr. Loyer had engaged a lawyer.
Hassen family friend Marcia Mick, who was at the Hassen home Saturday to help console the family, said Mr. Hassen was a sports lover.
“He loved golf, he loved watching sports on TV,” Ms. Mick said. “He was a good-hearted person. He did landscaping because he loved the outdoors.”
Dr. Cynthia Beisser, Lucas County deputy coroner, ruled the death a homicide caused by a single gunshot wound in the chest. Toxicology test results are pending.
Blade staff writer Tom Troy contributed to this report.
Contact Mike Sigov at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6089, or on Twitter @mikesigovblade.