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Police unsure who drove car into house killing mother, son

Published: Friday, December 01, 2017 @ 5:13 PM

A mother and her 7-year-old son died Wednesday night, Nov. 28. 2017, after a car rammed into their house on Lilac Avenue in Dayton.
CHRIS STEWART / STAFF/CHRIS STEWART / STAFF
A mother and her 7-year-old son died Wednesday night, Nov. 28. 2017, after a car rammed into their house on Lilac Avenue in Dayton.(CHRIS STEWART / STAFF/CHRIS STEWART / STAFF)

Police have yet to find a second suspect believed to be in a car that fled officers and hurtled into a Dayton house Wednesday night, resulting in the deaths of a 7-year-old and his mother.

Maria Davis, 39, was pronounced dead in the house while her son Jerome was transported to Dayton Children’s Hospital where he later died, according to officials.

FIRST REPORT: Mother, son killed when car crashes into home

Kesean W. Parks, 24, was taken into custody near the house at 803 Lilac Ave. after a short foot chase after the crash, said Dayton Police spokeswoman Cara Zinski-Neace.

The Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office on Friday approved concealed weapons and aggravated drug possession charges for Parks, who has not yet appeared in court and remains in custody at the Montgomery County Jail.

It remains unclear to investigators if Parks was the driver or an occupant of a black Nissan Maxima an officer spotted a little before 11 p.m. Wednesday on Hoover Avenue and watched turn into a driveway, according to police.

MORE: Double fatal car-into-house crash was second recent tragedy for family

When the officer turned a spotlight on the car, the driver accelerated out of the drive and down the street, according police who say no pursuit was initiated by the officer.

About four blocks away, a driver barreled down Kammer Avenue, past a stop sign at a T-intersection and crashed into the Davis’ house.

“We need an ambulance right now,” a 911 caller told a dispatcher.

Another juvenile related to the victims in the house walked out without serious physical injury, according to police.

Jerome Davis attended first grade at Edison PreK-6 School, said Marsha Bonhart, Dayton Public Schools spokeswoman.

A crisis team was available Thursday to support students and teachers at Edison School, Bonhart said. The team was back Friday working with Edison’s staff to implement a financial fund to assist the family, she said.

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Davis and her sons were burned out of another house just six months ago, a relative said.

“They lost everything in that,” Delores Woodall, a second cousin. “And now this happens.”

Family friend Michael Gearheart said Maria Davis always had a smile and big heart.

“She always kept an open door for us,” he said. “No matter where we came from or what we’d been through she always loved us.”

Dayton officer: ‘I bleed just like you’

Published: Friday, July 08, 2016 @ 7:16 PM
Updated: Friday, July 08, 2016 @ 7:16 PM

Dayton officer speaks about police community relations

Twenty-four-year-old Dayton Police officer Jermar Rayford offered to his God and Facebook a prayer of desperation.

“I pray to God that I don’t become a victim,” he said in a video. “And I pray to God that none of the others become a victim.”

>> WATCH THE VIDEO

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Rayford, a black male, said he experienced discrimination by police when he was growing up. His response was to become an officer. “I did this job to be the change in my community,” he said.

His post came eight hours before the slaughter in Dallas, where bullets rained Thursday, piercing 12 unassuming police officers and killing five in the deadliest day for law enforcement since September 11, 2001.

“The minute you start threatening to take our lives will be the day you start killing innocent people trying to make a change in the world,” Rayford said. “I am one of those officers who take pride in my job. I love my job. I am here to serve and protect my community.”

“I wear clothes just like you,” he said. “I bleed just like you.”

And more blood was shed: In Bristol, Tenn., on Thursday, and in suburban St. Louis, Mo., Friday, where an officer took three bullets in the back during a traffic stop. Then in Georgia, where a man allegedly called 911, reported a break-in, and loaded gunfire upon the responding officer.

Bloodshed upon bloodshed in the wake of two officer-involved shootings of black males in Louisiana and Minnesota; the latest in a string going back years.

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And a familiar, common outcry among police and citizens in the Miami Valley and much of the nation: Such carnage cannot continue.

“The violence has to stop,” said Beavercreek Police Chief Dennis Evers. “And I think that we need to just take a step back – everyone.”

“Officers that were out there protecting the public’s right to protest and free speech were ambushed and shot down,” he said. “It’s unfathomable that these events are taking place in our country.”

In the same breath, Evers acknowledges the frustration and anger experienced after officer-involved shootings like the one in his own jurisdiction. It was August 2014 when Beavercreek officers shot and killed John Crawford III in a Walmart. Crawford, who was black, carried an air rifle he picked up from a store shelf when he was shot.

“The police-involved shootings I understand – just as in our situation – people have questions and they have concerns,” Evers said. “But they can’t translate into violent reactions.”

Dayton Unit NAACP President Derrick Foward recalls waiting anxiously as a child for his father, a police officer, to return home after shift.

As an adult, he said that officers who wrongfully kill must be held accountable. Speaking from the local headquarters, he recited the names of victims in police-involved shootings across the nation.

“When is there going to be justice?” Foward asked. “When is there going to be a guilty verdict?”

For change to come, he said, other law enforcement agencies need to follow the example of Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer, who last year fired two deputies for racially-charged text messages.

“That’s when our nation will start to heal,” he said. “That’s when our nation will start to change.”

Clark County Sheriff Gene Kelly seems to agree.

“If you have individuals who act inappropriately or do not follow our code of conduct or oath of office, then they should not be in law enforcement,” Kelly said. “I think that’s what’s happening across America … There are people who should not be law enforcement officers, and it’s our job to weed them out and remove them.”

Kelly attended a meeting with law enforcement leaders from across the U.S. just one week ago in Washington, D.C. that focused on how to improve training and build relationships with local community members.

“Everybody felt really good leaving there that so much has been accomplished,” Kelly said. “But when something like what’s happened this week in Louisiana and Minnesota and now in Dallas, it’s really going to challenge law enforcement.”

It challenged the conscience of the Miami Valley, too. In interviews, the general public struggled with finding the right answers.

Some people, like in Huber Heights, took food or cards to show support for local police departments. Others tried to make sense of it all.

“I think it’s horrible, I’m scared to get anybody mad,” said Donna McMann. “I look around in restaurants. I’m just scared to go anywhere anymore. I don’t think it’s right that everybody’s allowed to carry a gun.”

Added Pat Newcomb, “Mostly I think we have to work for peace, we have to work to diffuse the hate language, and we have to break through these barriers, the unconscious and subconscious racism that’s driving all this original problem … I’m sad for the policemen, I’m sad for the young men in Louisiana and Minnesota and their families.”

America is a great country, said Mike Frey, “but we’ve gone backwards a lot. I don’t think we have a race issue, I think we have an attitude issue.”

But it is a race issue, according to Patrick Oliver, associate professor of criminal justice at Cedarville University and former chief of police in Fairborn, Grandview Heights and Cleveland.

“Segments of the minority community believe that they don’t have the same equity as members of the majority community,” said Oliver. “And when that occurs, nobody is safe. The community members aren’t safe and the police aren’t safe.”

To respond, police departments are adjusting as best they can by using the techniques most basic to the profession.

“This tragic event in Dallas serves as a reminder that we should never become complacent and be vigilant at all times,” wrote Lebanon Police Chief Jeffrey Mitchell in an email to his officers. “We must train, exercise, and perform at optimal levels of physical fitness, mental preparedness, professional knowledge, and situational awareness, to carry out our professional responsibilities.”

In Kettering, a similar mission holds true.

“The message we give to our officers, and we give this every day, is be vigilant, be safe, and watch out for your fellow officers while they’re protecting the public,” said Kettering Police Department Capt. Mark Burian. “The officer vigilance level does increase, and we want them to be aware of their surroundings.”

Maintaining awareness among citizenry, too, is a must, said Bob Chabali, a retired SWAT commander for the Dayton Police Department and a board member for the National Tactical Officers Association.

“Be vigilant,” he said. “If you see something, say something. If you hear something, say something.

“We’re just in that time,” he said. “You have to be very, very vigilant as to what’s going on today.”

Staff Writers Matt Sanctis, John Bedell, Lauren Clark and Lawrence Budd contributed reporting.

Woman shot, killed at Mississippi Walmart by on-again, off-again boyfriend, police say

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

On-Again, Off-Again Boyfriend Shoots, Kills Woman At Walmart

A man is facing a capital murder charge after Starkville police accused him of shooting and killing a woman described as his “on-again, off-again” girlfriend at a Mississippi Walmart where she worked as an optometrist, according to multiple reports.

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The shooting happened around 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the Walmart in Starkville. Police Chief Frank Nichols said a man fired several shots after walking into the store and confronting a woman, identified as Walmart Vision Center employee Shauna Witt, 42, the Starkville Daily News reported.

No other injuries were reported.

Witt was taken to a hospital, where she later died from her injuries, police said.

Police said they confronted a man at the scene of the shooting and detained him after a brief struggle. The man, identified as William Thomas “Tommy” Chisholm, was arrested and charged with capital murder.

Investigators believe the shooting was the result of a domestic situation. According to witnesses, Chisholm and Witt were in an on-again, off-again dating relationship.

SPD Press Conference - Walmart Shooting Incident

Posted by Starkville Police Department on Saturday, January 13, 2018

After the shooting, Justin Blaylock, who said he knew Witt for nearly two decades, described her as “a generous, kind soul,” the Daily News reported.

“She will be greatly missed by all,” he said. “(She was) just a genuine friend that cared at all times and was willing to lend a hand at any time.”

At the time of the killing, police said, Chisholm was out on felony bond for an incident related to the victim.

Police continue to investigate the shooting.

The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Male shot in leg in Dayton, police searching for suspect

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 4:17 PM

Shooting on Edison Street

Update@4:44 p.m.:

The incident occurred as a group of juvenile males were walking east on Edison Street. When they got to Ardmore Avenue, a blue SUV showed up and fired shots, striking one of the males in the leg, police said. 

The victim was taken to Miami Valley Hospital for treatment.

First report:

Police are searching for suspects after an 18-year-old male was shot in the leg at the intersection of Edison Street  and Ardmore Avenue late Thursday afternoon. 

The unidentified victim suffered non-life threatening injuries, police said. 

Officer have blocked off Edison Street  and Ardmore Avenue to collect evidence. 

No further information was immediately available. 

Man who was found dead on Free Pike in Trotwood identified 

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 4:36 AM
Updated: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 4:51 PM

Police respond to report of 'person down' in Trotwood

UPDATE @ 4:45 p.m.

The man who was found dead Thursday morning as a result of a person down call has been identified as Nathan Hairston, according to the Montgomery County coroner’s office. 

Hairston was 40 years old and a Trotwood resident. 

FIRST REPORT

Police are investigating after they were called to reports of a person down in Trotwood early Thursday.

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Officers were dispatched to the area of Free Pike and Hermosa Drive around 2 a.m. 

As of 4 a.m., police remain on scene.

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This story will be updated as additional information becomes available.