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Man fatally shot an intruder in self-defense, officers say

Saturday, August 12, 2000

Dean Narciso
Dispatch Police Reporter

A pounding on the front door roused Robert Jones from the living-room couch.

Moments later, 27-year-old Kevin Magwood lay dead at the doorstep. Police say it appears that he was a burglar and that Jones shot him in self-defense.

The incident occurred shortly before 7 a.m. yesterday at 2061 E. 5th Ave. and was described in a phone call to Columbus police from a woman who lives with Jones.

"I was asleep, and I heard a door, boom!, get hit,'' said the East Side caller, who identifies herself on the tape as Jane Johnson.

A police dispatcher asks who is hitting her door.

"Please, somebody has kicked in my door,'' screams the woman, who is frustrated with the dispatcher.

"Ma'am, just answer the questions,'' the dispatcher replies. "Obviously they're gone now, so what's the rush now? If you feel that unsafe, go to a neighbor and let us know where you're going to be.''

The tape ends there, and it's unclear whether Johnson hung up.

Police questioned Jones at headquarters early yesterday, said Lt. Mary Kerins. They said it appears he was sleeping on the couch with a gun nearby because strange things had been occurring at the house, including someone knocking out lightbulbs.

Kerins said the case likely will be presented to a Franklin County grand jury, though police say it's unlikely that Jones will be charged.

Magwood was on parole for a 1991 conviction of aggravated robbery.

Patrol officers found a large-caliber handgun near his body. He was slumped facedown outside the front door of the E. 5th Avenue town house and surrounded by shattered glass.

Two 911 calls were placed before Johnson's call to police, which was made to the radio room and not the 911 emergency line.

The first, at 6:57 a.m., came from a neighbor on E. 5th Avenue who said four or five shots had been heard in quick succession.

The second call, two minutes later and from another neighbor, reported five or six rounds of rapid gunfire.

At least one neighbor said at least two men were outside the row of town homes before to the shooting.

No one else had been caught as of last night.

Cassidi Richardson, who was in her living room at 2075 E. 5th Ave. when the shooting occurred, said she heard "like a clip-load of gunfire for about 40 seconds.'' She then saw a man dressed in black and a hooded shirt "jogging'' east past her house.

A woman who lives nearby and asked not to be identified said that she, her husband and their four children will move as soon as possible.

"I'd rather stay in a hotel than to stay here with kids,'' she said.

Shooting a burglar to defend yourself or others is a valid defense if you believe the person posed a risk of serious harm, experts say. Firing at someone merely to protect property is not.

"If you shot them for breaking the glass, then that would not be a proper use of force,'' said Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien.

Also understanding the shooter's level of fear is key to whether to prosecute, Kerins said.

"What might scare you might not scare another,'' she said.

Dispatch Staff Reporter Kate Schott contributed to this story.

NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed, without profit, for research or educational purposes.  We do our best, as well, to give credit to the original news source who published these Guns Save Lives stories out of respect and appreciation for their willingness to spread the word that Guns Save Lives.  God Bless the Americans that publish these stories - for assisting Americans in hearing the truth.


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