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Sandusky officer shot, killed

Susan McMillan • Mar 25, 2011 at 9:56 PM

Sandusky police Officer Andrew “Andy” Dunn died early Saturday morning after being gunned down while patrolling the streets of Sandusky.

The grisly scene played out shortly after 3 a.m. as shouts of "Shots fired!" and "Officer down!" rang out from the police scanner and officers rushed to the scene.

Dunn had approached Kevin D. Randleman, 50, 900 block W. Adams St., as Randleman rode down Tyler Street on a bicycle.

The two exchanged gunfire, with Dunn sustaining multiple gunshot wounds and Randleman sustaining at least one gunshot wound.

Firefighters rushed Dunn to Firelands Regional Medical Center's emergency room, where doctors pronounced him dead at 4:33 a.m.

Dunn, 30, is the first Sandusky police officer to die in the line of duty in more than a century and the first ever killed by gunfire.

Traffic stop

The Erie County Sheriff’s office is investigating the incident with the help of the state Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation.

So far they’ve determined that Dunn, while patrolling the area of Tyler Street and Hayes Avenue, spotted Randleman on a bicycle. Dunn asked dispatchers to check for warrants on Randleman, but dispatchers didn't find any.

Dunn then tried to stop Randleman. Radio traffic indicates Randleman refused to stop.

“This was self-initiated activity by Officer Dunn, doing what he did every day in his job as a police officer,” Erie County Sheriff’s Capt. Paul Sigsworth said about the stop.

Once Randleman did stop, Dunn got out of his patrol car. It’s not clear what happened after that, but another Sandusky officer arrived just after shots were fired, Sigsworth said. Investigators are trying to determine who fired first.

“Shots fired! Shots fired! Shots fired!” the second officer yelled into his radio. He then reported that an officer had been downed with gunshot wounds to the chest.

Dunn wore a bulletproof vest, a standard protocol for officers on patrol, noted interim Sandusky police Chief Jim Lang. Sigsworth declined to specify the locations of Dunn’s wounds or at what range shots were fired. The Lucas County coroner’s office will perform an autopsy as soon as Monday.

Investigation continues

Collection of evidence and analysis of the crime scene lasted several hours Saturday.

The shooting took place between the hospital’s Professional Center I and Professional Center II. Randleman’s bike still lay on the sidewalk late Saturday morning. Numbered tags marked the spots where bullet casings and a handgun fell to the ground nearby. Six bullet holes dented the windowpanes of Professional Center II.

Police barricaded the entire block between Hayes Avenue and Prospect Street as officers combed the area for clues.

One thing’s clear: Both Dunn’s firearm and the other handgun were fired, and no one else fired any shots, Sigsworth said.

Nearby residents said gunfire startled them awake. They looked outside as more than a dozen cars from several law enforcement agencies swarmed the scene.

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Ron Lunsford, who has lived in his Prospect Street home for 40 years, said he heard at least five gunshots.

“I heard pop pop pop pop pop,” he said. “It sounded like a high-powered gun. It didn’t sound like a little .22.”

Polk Street resident Jason Scott said he and his neighbor heard more like 10 shots. Scott called his dogs, grabbed his gun and went out to his backyard, which overlooks the crime scene.

He didn’t realize at the time that a police officer had been shot, but he heard someone shouting that “Kevin” had done it. He overheard other officers, too.

“I heard them talking to the cop, telling him he was going to be OK and everything,” Scott said. “But evidently he wasn’t.”

See Sunday's Register for more coverage of Saturday's tragic events including timelines, a profile of Officer Dunn, a profile of Randleman's criminal history and community and family reaction.

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