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Published: Monday, 4/6/2009

West Toledo man dies in shooting


Gary Morris was almost asleep Sunday when he heard several gunshots outside his West Toledo apartment.

Mr. Morris, 38, ran outside and noticed a dark-colored car parked on a side street near the North Towne Village Apartments at 5725 Silverside Drive., which quickly sped off.

Mr. Morris said he then turned around to see Kevin Church, 28, lying on the sidewalk, near the front of his apartment.

"We put a blanket on him so he wouldn't go into shock," Mr. Morris said yesterday. "He wasn't talking, but still breathing."

Mr. Church was pronounced dead at the scene minutes after rescue personnel arrived.

In a statement released yesterday, Toledo police said the victim was shot at 5725 Silverside, Apt. 17, just before 1 a.m. They released no other details, and no arrests were made.

Bob Hannon, an investigator with the Lucas County Coroner's Office, said Mr. Church was shot two times, at least once in the chest. He said it appears the shooting stemmed from an argument between Mr. Church and another person. An autopsy is scheduled for today.

A small amount of blood remained on the sidewalk yesterday.

Mr. Morris said he recalls hearing an argument shortly before the gunshots.

Danny Ennis, who is Mr. Church's stepson, wasn't home when the shooting occurred. A friend called him with the news.

"He was just trying to make it in life," said the Ennis youth, who turned 16 yesterday. "He shouldn't have been killed."

Young Ennis said Mr. Church, who turned 28 on Friday, had five children and lived in Apartment 19, two units away from where he was fatally shot.

He said he'll miss the advice his stepfather gave him about school and other things in life.

The teenager said Mr. Church was unemployed but had been searching for work.

"I'll miss him being there," Young Ennis said. "He was cool."

Julie Hudson, 35, said she and Mr. Church had been together for six years and had three children together.

Ms. Hudson was trying to make sense of what had happened. "I'm still trying to get an understanding about what's going on," she said.

Several relatives and friends gathered at the apartment of the victim's mother.

Two women, one in tears, embraced one another.

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