SOUTHINGTON, Ohio (WKBN) – Breanna Kovar said her grandfather, Jim Kovar, would take his elderly neighbor to run errands from time to time.
“My grandfather would run him to the store and the bank or wherever he needed to go,” Kovar said.
And that is exactly what he was doing Tuesday around noon, when the neighbor, identified by police as Charles Crandall, opened fire on him with what they believe is a .22-caliber rifle, hitting Jim’s truck.
Jim took off, uninjured but shaken up, and called 911.
Then Trumbull County Sheriff’s deputies and Braceville police went to Crandall’s house on Phalanx Mills Herner Road in Southington.
“They get to the residence, they went up on the porch to knock on the door and the subject inside started firing shots at them. We returned fire,” Trumbull County Sheriff Thomas Altiere said.
Altiere said it was one of his deputies who fired the fatal shot. They are both veterans of the force and they have both been placed on paid administrative leave per department policy.
“We very seldom have any problems out here and something like this, to this level with an officer, law enforcement involved, it really takes it to another level,” Trumbull County Sheriff’s Major Tom Stewart said.
No one at the Sheriff’s Office is speculating what may have sparked the incident, which is under investigation by BCI.
People who live along Phalanx Mills Herner Road were shocked by all of the police activity. They said they never expected to see anything like this happen.
A lot of people take that route because it is a quick side route home for them, including Randy McAvoy of Newton Falls, who takes Phalanx Mills Herner Road every day to and from work.
“Basically in 29 years, I hardly ever seen a cop on this road at all. Now I got to make a U-turn and go another way home, especially during all of this rain,” McAvoy said.
That was why seeing police tape and flashing police lights blocking off the road came as a shock to him. When he learned what happened, it came as even more of a shock for McAvoy.
“It is possible. Anything can happen anywhere these days, but especially out here. I mean, it just seems quiet and peaceful,” he said.
Like McAvoy, Virginia Dixon had to find an alternate route home from work Tuesday evening.
“I had no clue because I was at work all day,” Dixon said.
She also said seeing a crime on the road came as quite a surprise.
“One time, the only thing I have seen is someone stopped for DUI,” Dixon said.