Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner said it was "absolutely ludicrous" to suggest that Sunday's murder of Richard Soria could have been prevented if 75 police officers had not been laid off on Friday.
"Violent crimes, shootings, are not ever prevented by the presence of a police officer, no matter how many thousands of police officers you have," Mr. Finkbeiner said.
The mayor, during a press conference announcing this year's model block program, blamed the media for stirring up fear regarding the police layoffs, which were executed to address a $21.3 million budget deficit.
"I wish the murder had never happened, but I know something, this remains one of the safest cities in America," Mr. Finkbeiner said, adding that FBI statistics show crime is down 19 percent in Toledo.
Mr. Finkbeiner made his comments during a press conference at 1129 Newbury St. in the city's south end. He also announced a crackdown on graffiti citywide.
Mr. Soria, of 659 Congress St., suffered multiple gunshot wounds about 12:12 p.m., shortly after returning from church, police said. He was found on the walkway leading to the front porch of his one-story house. He was taken to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, where he died a short time later. There were no arrests in the case as of noon Monday.