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Moraine officer-involved shooting: 5 questions we’re asking

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 1:15 PM

Sky 7 footage of the Signal 99 in Moraine

Two Moraine police officers fired their weapons at a 23-year-old man Friday, killing him on scene, police said.

Moraine Police Chief Craig Richardson said the man — identified by the Montgomery County Coroner as Jamarco McShann, 23, of Dayton — pointed a gun at officers, who were investigating a report of a suspicious vehicle on Pinnacle Park Drive.

LATEST: Moraine police shooting

DATABASE: Officer-involved shootings

PHOTOS: Scene of shooting

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation will conduct an independent investigation into the shooting, a BCI spokeswoman told this news organization.

Moraine shooting: Man killed identified

Richardson said the Moraine department will have more information in a later press conference.

Here are five outstanding questions about this morning’s shooting in Moraine:

1. What type of gun did the man shot have? Moraine police said that “the officers located the suspect in the vehicle, the suspect pointed a handgun at the officers and two Moraine police officers responded with gunfire.” Police have not said what type of handgun McShann had.

SHOTS FIRED: Scanner traffic from Moraine shooting

2. What warnings, if any, were officers able to give the suspect? We do not know if officers were able to warn the man to drop the gun before shooting him.

3. Who are the officers who fired at the man? This newsroom has asked for more information about the officers who fired at McShann. Specifically, we’ve asked for their personnel files and whether they are still on-duty. Typically after an officer-involved shooting, the officer will go on an administrative leave during the investigation.

4. When was Moraine’s last officer-involved shooting? The Dayton Daily News I-Team’s database of officer involved shootings does not list any Moraine police shootings. Using news coverage and other records, the I-Team’s database keeps a tally of all known area officer-involved shootings since 1995.

5. What is McShann’s background? We are seeking more information about the man shot to death.

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Your questions answered about the opioid epidemic

Published: Saturday, March 17, 2018 @ 9:50 AM

            Participants at the Your Voice Ohio opioid forum discuss their thoughts about the causes and solutions to the area’s drug epidemic at the downtown Dayton Metro Library, Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018. DOUG OPLINGER/Contributed
Participants at the Your Voice Ohio opioid forum discuss their thoughts about the causes and solutions to the area’s drug epidemic at the downtown Dayton Metro Library, Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018. DOUG OPLINGER/Contributed

Many who attended the recent forums on opioids held throughout the Miami Valley by Your Voice Ohio and this newspaper submitted questions about the epidemic. Here are some of the answers to those questions.

Q: How are the drugs coming into our country?

A variety of ways. Heroin may first enter the country through underground tunnels or in secret compartments hollowed out of car panels or welded into semi-trailer truck frames. At times, a dealer simply schedules a pickup with FedEx and plays the odds that a shipment will make it through.

Sometimes it comes in through a drug courier’s bowels, as mules are paid to carry balloons of heroin over the border on foot or through an airport.

Regardless of how it’s delivered, authorities say most of the heroin purchased in southwest Ohio — and in America today — is trafficked by violent criminal organizations based in one country: Mexico.

“To get a kilo of heroin in the Dayton area five years ago, that was a lot of heroin. Nowadays it’s not,” said Tim Plancon, assistant special agent in charge of DEA’s Ohio Columbus District Office.

Fentanyl — heroin’s more potent cousin, which is responsible for the large spike in deaths in the region seen in 2016 and 2017 — comes mainly through the mail from China.

Chinese authorities place little emphasis on controlling fentanyl production or export because the synthetic opioid is not widely used in China.

The fentanyl is sometimes difficult to trace because it arrives through a range of products that include fentanyl-laced counterfeit prescription drugs like oxycodone.

Authorities say Chinese chemical exporters get around U.S. laws by exploiting unregulated online ordering systems, mislabeling shipments, and modifying banned substances to create yet-illegal substances.

READ MORE: How Mexican drug cartels move heroin to Miam Valley street corners

Q: What are the true demographics of the addict population?

Final 2017 overdose numbers including demographic info on those who died aren’t available yet, but the 2016 numbers show the wide range of ages, races and cities affected by the epidemic.

In Montgomery County in 2016, the youngest to die was 2-year-old Lee Hays, who somehow got hold of fentanyl. The oldest was a 79-year-old man. Eighty percent were white; 64 percent were men. Dayton had the most deaths with 162, but people also overdosed and died in 20 other communities including Brookville, Clayton, Miamisburg, Oakwood and Washington Twp.

RELATED: 5 reasons why officials point to China in the deadly fentanyl pipeline

Q: Why is there not more focus on alternative medicines to opioids?

It has been shown that opioid addictions can start when undergoing treatment for short-term pain. Additionally, the use of opioids during short-term treatment has increased in the past few years.

To avoid the risk of addiction, researchers have explored using tylenol and ibuprofen for pain rather than opiates. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that on patients with broken bones and sprains, acetaminophen and ibuprofen worked as well as opioids at reducing severe pain.

The study notes that a pill combining ibuprofen and acetaminophen affects different pain receptors in the body, and can be highly effective. Pills that combine the two drugs are not yet available in the United States, and it’s also important to note that this study only looked at short-term pain relief in the emergency room.

Using ibuprofen and acetaminophen may not be ideal for long term use, according to Good Rx.

Q: What about medical marijuana?

While using marijuana to treat pain may have less mainstream approval than other treatments, a report by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine shows it can be effective in reducing neuropathic pain, a form of chronic pain that can cause damaged nerve endings.

Cannabinoids are seen by many doctors as actually “safer” than prescribing opioids, PBS reports. There are lower rates of addiction, and they don’t affect the brain stem. That means when using cannabis, your breathing and other basic life support functions are not affected, avoiding the risk of fatal overdoses.

Dr. Jordan Tishler, who handled emergency medicine at the Boston VA, states that most patients only need low doses of cannabis to treat chronic pain: “The amount they find relief with is nowhere near what laypeople recommend to each other or what recreational users take.”

Ohio’s medical marijuana program is set to launch later this year.

Q: How do people get hooked on opioids?

A 2013 study examining national-level general population heroin data — including those in and not in treatment — found that nearly 80 percent of heroin users reported using prescription opioids prior to heroin. We also know that roughly 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them.

When someone suffers from chronic pain, their body is constantly sending pain signals to their brain; which doesn’t allow their body to produce enough natural endorphins. At this point, a doctor would prescribe an opioid medication. Now the opioids and their natural endorphins can both land on their nerve receptors.

Next, the brain cells that have opioid receptors on them gradually become less responsive to the opioid stimulation. Once someone develops a tolerance, withdrawal symptoms begin to occur if a higher dosage is not given. Repeated exposure to escalating doses of opioids alters the brain so that it functions more or less normally when the drugs are present and abnormally when they are not. Therefore, even more opioid intake becomes necessary to produce pleasure comparable to that provided in any previous drug-taking episodes.

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Two women in custody in connection to abduction of 4-year-old boy in Warren County

Published: Friday, March 16, 2018 @ 8:26 PM
Updated: Saturday, March 17, 2018 @ 3:33 AM

Left: Jennifer Hemchak, 35 Right: Tamara Montalvo, 37
Left: Jennifer Hemchak, 35 Right: Tamara Montalvo, 37

UPDATE @ 3:10 a.m.:

Jennifer Hemcheck, 35, and Tamara Montalvo, 37 were arrested in connection to the abduction of a 4-year-old boy in Sandusky that prompted a statewide Amber Alert Friday.

The women are currently in custody in Warren County Jail.

The boy was found safe.


A vigilant motorist helped authorities find a 4-year-old boy who was abducted hours earlier from his home in Sandusky and was the subject of a statewide Amber Alert.

Police there said Jennifer Hemcheck forcibly removed Q’Dai Hemcheck from a vehicle and sped away with him in a white 2015 Hyundai Sonata with Florida license plates.

Shortly after a statewide Amber Alert was issued tonight that described the vehicle, plate number and provided photos of the Hemchecks to mobile phones, a 911 caller reported spotting a car that matched the description.

“If it wasn’t for the fact that the caller, regular citizen with a cellphone, called in, we probably wouldn’t have been able to locate that car, if not as quick or at all, if we hadn’t had that help from that citizen,” Sgt. Tom Bloomberg of the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Lebanon Post said.

Jennifer Hemcheck was arrested after she was found at 8:30 p.m. riding in the car on southbound Interstate 75 in Monroe in Warren County. Another woman was driving the car, and she, too, was arrested.

Jennifer Hemcheck’s 12-year-old daughter also was in the car and was taken to the Lebanon Post to be reunited with her father, troopers said.

As for D’Quai, he has been taken to Erie County Children Services and his father has been notified, according to the highway patrol.


An Amber Alert is in effect across Ohio after a 4-year-old boy was abducted Friday afternoon in Sandusky.

D’Quai Hemchak was “forcibly removed from a vehicle by Jennifer Ann Hemchack, a non-custodial parent.” The suspect then sped away in her car heading east, and the young boy is believed to be in “imminent danger.”

They are believed to be riding in a white 2015 Hyundai Sonata with Florida license plate IWU-M23 and police say she could be headed to Florida.

D’Qai is described as 3 feet tall, weighing 30 to 35 pounds with black hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information is urged to call 911.

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Defense in Carlisle baby case wants jury to view scene, interrogation room

Published: Friday, March 16, 2018 @ 4:42 PM

Brooke Skylar Richardson, the Carlisle teen charged with aggravated murder for the death of her infant found buried in the back yard, appeared in Warren County Court with her defense attorney Charles M. Rittgers, for pretrial hearing, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017 in Lebanon. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Brooke Skylar Richardson, the Carlisle teen charged with aggravated murder for the death of her infant found buried in the back yard, appeared in Warren County Court with her defense attorney Charles M. Rittgers, for pretrial hearing, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017 in Lebanon. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Defense attorneys for Brooke Richardson, a Carlisle teen accused of killing her baby and then burying it in the backyard, want the jury to view two locations during trial.

Brooke Skylar Richardson, 18, is charged with aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter, gross abuse of a corpse, tampering with evidence and child endangering for the May 2017 death of her infant daughter, whom defense attorneys say she named Annabelle.

MORE: Defense: ‘Burned baby’ statements may have tainted jury pool in baby case

Attorneys Charles H. and Charles M. Rittgers filed a motion Thursday afternoon requesting the jury view the Richardson home at 104 Eagle Ridge Drive and the Carlisle Police interrogation room.

Warren County Common Pleas Judge Donald Oda II had not ruled on the motion as of 4 p.m. today.

Richardson’s trial is scheduled to begin April 16. A pre-trial conference is scheduled for April 9.

On March 5, the defense team filed a motion to exclude Richardson’s comments at the Carlisle Police Station outside the presence of officers.

After a 60-minute meeting in chambers with attorneys on Wednesday, Oda said the defense intended to withdraw its motion to suppress those statements.

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Miami County man being held on murder charges in wife’s death transferred for psychiatric treatment

Published: Friday, March 16, 2018 @ 5:44 PM

Randy Freels
Contributing Writer
Randy Freels(Contributing Writer)

TROY - A Miami County judge Friday, March 16, ordered the transfer of Randy Freels, who is charged with the January murder of his wife, to a behavioral health center for treatment and stabilization.

RELATED: Miami County husband held in wife’s death now faces civil lawsuit

The transfer at the request of county prosecutors on behalf of the Sheriff's Department was approved by Judge William McGregor Dixon Jr. of the county Common Pleas Court Juvenile and Probate Division. 

Assistant Prosecutor Paul Watkins wrote in a motion filed Friday afternoon that Freels' "current condition and security risk is beyond that which can be managed within the Miami County Jail." 

The sheriff's office with assistance of the Northern Ohio Psychiatric Hospital determined that it would be in Freels' best interest to be transferred, Watkins wrote. 

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Dixon ordered the transfer to the recommended Twin Valley Behavioral Health Care-Morita. Once Freels is stabilized he will be returned to the jail, according to the order. Sheriff Dave Duchak was not available to comment late Friday. 

Freels, 57, of Union Twp. faces charges of murder, tampering with evidence, improper discharge of a firearm and felonious assault and three firearm specifications in the Jan. 12 shooting of Samantha Freels, 52. He has pleaded not guilty. 

Samantha Freels’ body was found in her car, which had gone off Ohio 55 near West Milton during an afternoon snow storm. Investigators initially thought the death could be from a weather-related accident until a fresh bullet hole was found in the car. 

County Public Defender Jack Hemm on Thursday, March 15, filed a motion asking for sanity and competency evaluations for Freels. That motion is pending.

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