Woman shot at Springfield Speedway feared for her safety; suspect previously charged

SPRINGFIELD — A murder suspect considered armed and dangerous and wanted for shooting four people at a Springfield Speedway station, including his ex-girlfriend, was previously charged with stalking her, but a grand jury didn’t indict him.

Emil Witherspoon, 43, of Springfield, was taken into custody Tuesday morning, according to jail records. His bond was set at $1 million in court.

>> Arrest warrant issued for shooting at Springfield gas station that killed 1, hurt 3 others

Witherspoon was accused of victimizing his ex-girlfriend Tiffany Brugler about a year ago. Brugler told police last July that Witherspoon began making threats to the safety of her and her children after the couple’s 10-year relationship ended.

“Although the threats were vague, Ms. Brugler advised that she was constantly in fear of her safety, and the safety of her kids,” according to a July 2020 court affidavit. “Brugler stated that she was going to apply for a protection order against Mr. Witherspoon, but fears that she or her family may be seriously or fatally injured if this is done.”

Those accusations led to a charge of menacing by stalking after Brugler said Witherspoon had come to her house and was attempting to get inside the house. She told police she had been watching him on her home surveillance system.

Two days before that, Witherspoon was accused of burglarizing her house and damaging several items inside.

Both the burglary and menacing by stalking charges were presented to a grand jury, however the grand jury decided not to indict Witherspoon, according to Clark County Prosecutor Dan Driscoll.

It’s not clear if Brugler ever filed a protection order against Witherspoon prior to Saturday’s shooting that led to the death of Antoine Crooks, 32, of Westerville, Ohio.

Two children, ages 6 and 7, also were injured in the shooting, but have since been treated and released from the hospital, according to family and police.

The 6-year-old was in the vehicle that Crooks had gotten out of at the gas pump. The 7-year-old was inside the Speedway, where Brugler was shot in the head and arm, and was an innocent bystander, according to police.

Brugler was last known to be in critical condition at Miami Valley Hospital, police said. An update on her condition was not available Monday afternoon.

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