CLINTONVILLE, OHIO -- Police said a 91-year-old man might have been coming to the aid of a female neighbor last night when he fatally shot a 29-year-old man at a Clintonville home.
Officers were called about 8:30 p.m. to 269 E. Lincoln Ave. When they arrived, they found the body of the younger man lying in the driveway.
He was the former boyfriend of the woman who lives at the house, police said. They did not further identify either man or the woman, who was being questioned.
The younger man allegedly came to the home, kicked in the back door and began beating the woman.
The woman's elderly neighbor, who was inside her house, then fired a gun at the man. After he was shot, the younger man stumbled out of the house and fell to the driveway.
Columbus Police Sgt. Eric Pilya said the shooting could be a case of self-defense.
Officers said that there was a history of police runs to the house for domestic problems and that the woman and the younger man had parted ways about a year ago.
The windshield of the woman's daughter's car, which was parked on the street near the house, was smashed Monday night. Police were checking whether that incident was related to the shooting.
91-year-old neighbor saves woman from ex-boyfriend
Originally ran here
"Shooting was end to history of violence"
by Alayna DeMartini, Staff Writer
The Columbus Dispatch
April 4, 2002
CLINTONVILLE, OHIO -- He once tried to strangle his girlfriend with a scarf she was wearing. He slammed her into a wall, kicked her and spit at her, a protection order issued last year said.
But the order didn't stop James Ryan McVay.
This week, a bullet did.
On Tuesday, Virginia " Sue" Devoe asked her neighbors to watch out for McVay's rusty brown pickup truck.
She said he'd recently threatened her and asked that they call police if they saw her ex- boyfriend on the street.
Columbus police had been called to Devoe's E. Lincoln Avenue house, just south of Worthington, most recently last Thursday.
At that time, she told police that McVay had broken off a key in her back door and used screws to try to seal the front and back doors.
" How does it feel to be locked out?" McVay said in a voice-mail message left on the cellphone of Devoe's younger half-sister, who lives with Devoe.
That incident was one of several times that police were called to the home during the turbulent relationship of McVay, 28, and Devoe, 54.
It all ended about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday when, police say, McVay forced his way into Devoe's home.
Once inside, he assaulted Devoe and Shirley Becraft, a 91-year-old neighbor who was at the house. Police say McVay then tried to take Devoe from the house.
Becraft, who lives a few houses away on E. Lincoln, shot McVay once in the chest with a revolver. It's unclear what took him to Devoe's home or whose gun it was.
" It's hard to say where she would be now if he hadn't," police spokesman Sgt. Earl Smith said of Becraft's pulling the trigger.
McVay was pronounced dead at the scene.
No charges have been filed in the case.
Becraft was not at his home yesterday and could not be reached for comment.
Neighbors described him as a caring man who helped move the trash bins for neighbors every week on garbage day. He is a widower who lives alone.
One neighbor, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that on Tuesday evening, he walked outside his house to find McVay's body facedown on Devoe's driveway.
The neighbor went to Devoe's house and waited with her and Becraft for police and an ambulance.
A grand jury will decide whether Becraft will face criminal charges, Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien said. All shootings that result in deaths are presented to the grand jury, he said.
Deadly force is justified if the shooter didn't create the situation that led to the shooting.
Also, the shooter must have had " reasonable grounds to believe that he or another person was in danger of death or great bodily harm and the only means to escape that danger was to use deadly force," O'Brien said.
A Franklin County Domestic Relations Court judge issued a civil- protection order against McVay in January 2001.
The order came after Devoe, who had been living with McVay at the time, told the court that McVay had slammed her into a wall, pushed her to the floor and kicked her. He then threw Devoe onto a bed and started strangling her with a scarf, she said.
Devoe said McVay also threatened to harm her, her adult daughter and her dog if she told anyone about the incident.
Devoe said she changed her locks. But McVay broke in two days later and was waiting for her when she returned home. McVay picked up Devoe and slammed her to the floor, according to court records.
The court ordered McVay to stay away from Devoe, though he was never charged with domestic violence.
Neighbors say police were called to Devoe's home three times in the past two weeks.
On Aug. 8, McVay also petitioned the court for a civil-protection order against Devoe. At the time, McVay said Devoe had threatened him.
The court dismissed that case.
Dispatch Staff Reporter Tim Doulin contributed to this story
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