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Officer Killed In Gun Battle After Stopping Man on Bike

Officer Killed In Gun Battle After Stopping Man on Bike

The Toledo Blade via YellowBrix

March 21, 2011

SANDUSKY — The man accused in the Saturday morning shooting death of Sandusky Police Officer Andrew Dunn was charged with aggravated murder Sunday. Sunday night, hundreds of people gathered for a candlelight vigil to honor the slain policeman.

Kevin Randleman, 50, of Sandusky was under guard Sunday at the University of Toledo Medical Center, formerly the Medical College of Ohio, said Erie County Sheriff’s Capt. Paul Sigsworth. Randleman was alert and conscious when a detective served him with the formal charge, the captain said.

Officer Dunn stopped Randleman, who was on a bicycle, about 3 a.m. Saturday on Tyler Street, between Hayes Avenue and Prospect Street, according to investigators. As an assisting officer arrived, Officer Dunn and Randleman exchanged gunfire.

Officer Dunn, 30, suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was taken to Firelands Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 4:33 a.m. Authorities said he was wearing a bullet-proof vest when he was shot.

Randleman, who lives at 909 West Adams St., suffered at least one gunshot wound, according to the sheriff’s office, which is handling the investigation for Sandusky police.

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Randleman

Sunday night, between 300 and 500 people, many crying, gathered in a parking lot of the medical center for a 45-minute memorial service.

Streets leading to the site were lined with small American flags, along with illuminated milk jugs inscribed with R.I.P. and Officer Dunn’s badge number 2083.

Family members standing at the hospital entrance were surrounded by scores of police officers, some in uniform, others plainclothes. A large framed photograph of the slain policeman was surrounded by flowers, teddy bears, and other items.

A man with a bullhorn led the crowd in singing “Amazing Grace” before leading a prayer and calling out for the audience to raise their candles in the air to salute Officer Dunn.

“God bless Andy Dunn,” he shouted, and the crowd echoed “God bless Andy Dunn” into the cold, cloudy night.

Captain Sigsworth could not comment on why Officer Dunn stopped Randleman, saying the incident was still under investigation. He said previously that police have a history with Randleman, and that radio traffic between Officer

Dunn and a dispatcher suggests that Randleman would not stop when the officer made contact with him.

Captain Sigsworth could not comment on who fired first.

Officer Dunn left behind his wife, Julie, and two young children, including a 5-month-old baby. The lifelong Sandusky resident was hired as a reserve officer in 2003 and was promoted to full time in 2008. He also worked part time in the Clyde Police Department before 2008.

Working for the Sandusky Police Department was his lifelong dream, Clyde Police Chief Bruce Gower said. Officer Dunn’s father is a 20-plus year veteran of the Sandusky department.

“I kind of sat there in shock,” Chief Gower said of when he heard the news. “It’s something we all know can happen, but never can prepare for.”

Officer Dunn was the kind of guy you would want working as a police officer, Chief Gower said. The officer was always happy, always smiling, always positive.

“He had a lot of empathy for people,” the chief said. “He was not the kind of guy to put someone into peril just for the sake of it. He didn’t deserve what he got, by any means.”

Many of the people Officer Dunn worked with in Clyde are still at the department. The officers all worked well together and knew one another, Chief Gower said.

“My guys here are pretty rattled,” the chief added. “Everyone liked Andy. You don’t know what to say and you don’t know what to do when a guy gives that kind of sacrifice.”

Officer Dunn is the first Sandusky police officer to be killed in the line of duty. He is the fifth Ohio officer to be killed this year, and the 46th in the country, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page Web site.

Randleman made statements to officers while in the hospital, but Captain Sigsworth would not comment on the contents of the conversation. Randleman’s criminal background includes convictions for aggravated assault in 1996 and trafficking marijuana in 1998 in Sandusky and aggravated menacing in 2008 in Sandusky County. Police said he was charged with retail theft in Springfield, Ill., in 1987.

Randleman was convicted in November, 1990, by an Erie County Common Pleas Court jury and sentenced to two years in prison for carrying a concealed weapon after being acquitted of aggravated murder and manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Mark Everett in February, 1990.

Once Randleman is medically cleared, he will be immediately transferred to the Erie County Jail, Captain Sigsworth said.


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