Alcohol likely a factor in Grant Ave. shooting

PERKINS TWP. Police are still investigating what caused a dispute Saturday night that left a Grant A
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010



Police are still investigating what caused a dispute Saturday night that left a Grant Avenue man dead, but alcohol is believed to be a factor, according to Perkins Police Chief Tim McClung.

"Ironically, it appears they may have been friends," McClung said, adding that the investigation may not be finalized until Friday.

Andrew D. Johnson, 59, was charged with murder and attempted murder for allegedly shooting his next-door neighbor Gerald B. Gilliam, 39, both of the 3600 block of Grant Ave.

Investigators believe a .38-caliber pistol was used by Johnson, whom police located at the scene with the weapon in his hand at 9:02 p.m. Saturday. An officer found Gilliam lying in the yard with a single gunshot wound to his midsection. His wife Sandra was standing over him, according to McClung, and directed police to Johnson's home.

Gilliam was taken to Firelands Regional Medical Center and died there a few hours later.

McClung also said racial slurs might have been exchanged between the two men, although not necessarily directed at one another.

While Johnson's name was not listed among those with conceal carry permits in Erie County, no additional charges could be brought because of that, according to McClung. Unless an area has laws regarding not registering a weapon, he said, no charges can be brought.

The two neighbors had been in previous recent altercations, but no specific details were available, according to Kevin Baxter, county prosecutor.

Gilliam had numerous prior charges including domestic violence, assault and intoxication dating back to the late 1980s. His most recent charge was for domestic violence in March 2006, according to police records.

Johnson had no previous charges with local law enforcement agencies. Nor do police have any record of other altercations between the two men.

Johnson's bond is set at $55,000 and he is being held in Erie County Jail. His plea hearing is July 12 in Sandusky Municipal Court.

Perkins Police have handled other shootings and stabbings in the Grant Avenue area before, McClung said.