Known as quiet but generally friendly, Richard Dale Carr II's behavior grew increasingly bizarre in the hours before he showed up at a neighbor's house in North Toledo yesterday morning with two handguns and a delirious notion of revenge, neighbors and authorities said.
Shortly before 8 a.m., police say, Mr. Carr banged loudly on the front door of John and Janet Murphy's house at 1952 Allendale Drive. Also inside were the Murphys' adult son, Eric Murphy, and two grandchildren, ages 3 and 8.
"They opened the door and he made a statement to the effect, 'You killed my family - now I'm going to kill yours,'•and began shooting," said Chief Mike Navarre, noting the absolute fan-tasy of Mr. Carr's reasoning.
Mr. Carr, 32, shot and wounded John Murphy, 51, at least four times, including twice in the chest; Janet Murphy, 50, once, and Eric Murphy, 25, once or twice, police said. The shooting resulted in a standoff with officers that produced a hostage situation and a gunfire exchange with police at the front and rear of the light blue, one-story home.
During the 10 to 15-minute standoff, police rescued the granddaughters by sneaking them out of a bedroom window.
After an attempt at negotiation failed, Toledo police Sgt. Keith Miller, who had entered the house with another officer, shot and killed Mr. Carr with a single bullet in the head, the chief said.
No officers were injured.
Eric Murphy, who had just returned from service in the U.S. Navy, was listed in serious condition at Toledo Hospital. John Murphy, who is a physical therapist at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, was in critical condition at the hospital where he works. Mrs. Murphy was also at St. Vincent's and in serious condition.
Chief Navarre said all three wounded victims were expected to survive.
Little was known yesterday about Mr. Carr's mental condition or psychological background. Chief Navarre said police had yet to interview the three victims and were not exactly sure what triggered Mr. Carr's rampage.
"We don't have any evidence to indicate why they were singled out," the chief said.
However, Mr. Carr did call 911 at 5:47 a.m. - about two hours before the shooting - to report his suspicion that his neighbors had kidnapped and killed his parents. The parents, Richard and Candy Carr of Monroe, Mich., had traveled to a family gathering in Memphis, and Mr. Carr said his mother had failed to call as she had been doing on a nightly basis, Chief Navarre said.
Mr. Carr, who was single and believed by neighbors to be unemployed after a layoff several months ago, lived next door to the Murphys at 1956 Allendale with his brother, Nick Carr.
He grew up in Monroe, Mich., and moved to the Toledo address two years ago, according to Dan Chlebos, a retired police lieutenant from Wisconsin now living in Monroe who identified himself as the Carr family's spokesman.
Kyle and Sarah Markovich, who live on the other side of Mr. Carr on Allendale, said Nick was more outgoing but that Richard, who went by Rick, had been fairly friendly.
"We knew enough to say hi and talk over the fence every once in a while," said Mr. Markovich, 30.
But Richard Carr was acting very strange Saturday, the Markoviches said. That afternoon he approached the couple to talk about a "civil war" going on in Monroe, Mich., where his parents still live. He claimed he hadn't slept in three days and was paranoid that someone might "barge in" to his home.
He returned a few hours later to profess to Mr. Markovich, "I just want to whack somebody." Mr. Markovich said at that point he advised Mr. Carr to relax and get some sleep.
"My heart goes out to [the Murphy] family because it just as easily could have been us," Mrs. Markovich said. "He could have easily run this way."
Police in both Toledo and the city of Monroe said they had no previous dealings with Mr. Carr aside from traffic violations.
The Monroe County Sheriff's Office stopped him for one minor incident in 2007 but did not file a report and never had reason to arrest him, Sgt. Heath Velliquette said.
Chief Navarre said it was his understanding that that incident involved "mental issues."
Toledo police received the first call about shots fired on Allendale at 7:54 a.m. Janet Murphy reportedly said Mr. Carr made nonsensical remarks about terrorists before opening fire. He was armed with two 45-caliber semiautomatic handguns.
"I guess he walked into the front of the house and just started firing, talking about a bunch of terrorists and stuff like that," said Ronnie Murphy, John Murphy's brother.
Although wounded, Eric and Janet Murphy managed to flee the house.
Barbara Foore of 1946 Allendale Drive said one of the shooting victims came to her house as they waited for police.
Police arrived at the Murphys' house to find a hostage situation with Mr. Carr inside, John Murphy bleeding profusely on the dining room floor, and the two grandchildren hiding under a bed.
Mr. Carr fired three to four rounds when he first saw officers at the front door. Sergeant Miller and Officer Cherrie Bryce managed to sneak inside the house. Mr. Carr fired two more rounds while those officers tried to negotiate with him.
"One of those rounds went right through the side wall of the house and right past the head of one of the officers who was standing outside," Chief Navarre said.
Meanwhile, police entered and rescued the granddaughters from the bedroom.
Nearby resident Lori Wagoner said she saw a police officer run from the house with the younger child in his arms while holding the hand of the older girl, who was barefoot in pajamas.
"He was running and that little baby was running right along with him," she recalled.
Sergeant Miller shot Mr. Carr once the negotiation attempt failed, Chief Navarre said. Mr. Carr fired a total of 10 rounds from his two handguns, police said.
"From all indications the officers that responded did a commendable job," the chief said. "Sergeant Miller and the other two that went inside the house - that was officer Cherrie Bryce and Sgt. Phil King - in my opinion they saved the life of John Murphy.
"If they had not taken action as quickly as they did, John Murphy likely would have bled to death there on the floor in the dining area," the chief said.
John Murphy is the nephew of retired Toledo police Sgt. Richard B. Murphy, now a crime specialist for WTOL-TV, Channel 11, who was reporting live on air near the scene shortly before he learned that his relatives were involved.
"I didn't realize it until somebody told me, 'Hey, that was your nephew who was shot,'•" Richard Murphy said.
Chief Navarre said authorities next rushed to check the safety of Mr. Carr's parents in Monroe, Mich., whom they feared may have been targeted.
Monroe County sheriff's deputies found Mr. Carr's brother, Nick Carr, at the parents' home and learned that the mother and father were both safe in Tennessee.
Lucas County's coroner, Dr. James Patrick, said an autopsy is scheduled for tomorrow on Mr. Carr's body.
Richard Dale Carr II graduated from Jefferson High School in northern Monroe County in 1994.
Mr. Carr and his brother, his lone sibling, were "very close," according to Mr. Chlebos, the family spokesman.
His parents, Richard and Candy Carr, have cut short their Memorial Day weekend plans and were expected to arrive late last night at their home on the north side of Monroe.
The suspect's father had been a Monroe County car salesman until being laid off recently. His mother works at Tenneco Inc., Mr. Chlebos said.
The shooter's family members expressed deep sympathy for the victims while mourning Mr. Carr, he said.
"The family's just beside themselves," Mr. Chlebos said. "They're in shock I can't even find the words to describe how they feel right now."
He said Nick had just talked to his brother on Saturday and that everything seemed fine with him.
"Basically, everything seemed to be OK," he said.
Blade staff writer Tom Henry contributed to this report.
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