State and local authorities investigate a fatal shooting and home invasion on South River Road in Waterville Township.
THE BLADE/LORI KING
The business owner who was fatally shot in Waterville Township during a home invasion early Saturday was likely targeted by someone who was trying to rob him, authorities said.
The shooting occurred a short time before 6 a.m. at 8940 South River Rd., Lucas County sheriff’s deputies said.
Lucas County Sheriff John Tharp identified the victim as homeowner James Safadi, 34.
Mr. Safadi and his family own at least a couple carryout stores in the Toledo area, Jeff Kozak, a detective with the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office, confirmed.
Detective Kozak said Mr. Safadi was shot in the chest with a handgun.
ONLINE DATABASE: 2013 Toledo Homicide Report
It did not appear that Mr. Safadi had returned fire, the detective said.
H.R. Kellett, the acting Waterville Township police chief, described the incident as a home invasion and Detective Kozak agreed.
“They were looking for money or other property,” the detective said.
Police and sheriff’s deputies arrived at the home after Mr. Safadi’s girlfriend, who was unharmed, locked herself in a bathroom of the home — once assailants left — and called 911, Detective Kozak said.
The detective said the incident did not appear to be random and Mr. Safadi was likely targeted.
It was unclear, however, whether he knew his assailants, he said.
Authorities, the detective said, are searching for three suspects, described as black men who were dressed in black and wearing masks.
The incident did not take long, he said.
State and local officers remained at the scene more than 12 hours Saturday.
An autopsy is scheduled Monday.
Relatives gathered outside the home declined to comment.
On his Facebook page, Mr. Safadi said he was a graduate of John Glenn High School in Westland, Mich., and has studied at Central Michigan University. He also mentioned being in a relationship with a woman.
He has a history of traffic and misdemeanor offenses in Lucas County, according to online court records.
Neighbors were shocked by the shooting.
Brian Lauderman said he was awakened by sirens about 6 a.m., and later found out what happened by checking local news online.
“Things like that don’t usually happen around here,” he said.
Detective Kozak said the last case in the Waterville Township area that was in any way comparable to this incident was the unsolved murder of Janean Brown.
She was 19 when on a chilly November morning in 1983 someone slashed the petite brunette’s throat nearly ear to ear, stripped her body, and dumped it in a shallow stream in woods just outside the village of Whitehouse.
Contact Mike Sigov at: 419-724-6089, firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter: @mikesigovblade.