Police responded en masse to the 1300 block of Stone Street early Tuesday after dispatchers received two calls about possible gunshots fired.
One homeowner called police at about 12:05 a.m. after she heard three loud bangs close to her residence, but didn’t see anyone leaving the area.
Officers arrived within minutes and stayed in the area for about half an hour, but found no witnesses or evidence indicating shots were fired.
Given the recent atmosphere in Sandusky — nine shootings in less than two months — it’s not uncommon for sounds like firecrackers to be mistaken for shots, Sandusky police Det. John Orzech said.
Sandusky residents, meanwhile, are a mixed batch when weighing the recent spate of violence.
Tiera Swane was in her bedroom at the back of her Stone Street home Tuesday morning when she heard the loud bangs that were reported to police.
“I heard three shots, (at) about a quarter to 12, like a bang,” Swane said. “They were real quick — bang, bang, bang.”
Swane called police, and within a minute officers swarmed the neighborhood.
The sounds woke up her daughter.
“My 12-year-old had a hard time sleeping after that. I went in to try to comfort her,” Swane said.
The sounds also woke her neighbor, Amber Shabazz.
“At first I thought it was shots, then I thought it was a car back fire,” Shabazz said.
The single mother of three children, ages 5 to 7, said the last two months have brought only anxiety. She orders her children into the home much earlier in the evenings.
Another Stone Street resident, Rob Lambert, said he also heard the noise.
“To me it sounded like a board hitting (something),” Lambert said, adding that he hasn’t been aware of the shootings in the city these last few months.
Across the street, however, John Massingill said he has been aware of the shootings — but he’s not bothered.
“I live my life everyday. I can’t do anything about it,” Massingill said.
Police searched the neighborhood where the suspected shots were heard, including McDonough Street, but found nothing.
Tracy White lives on McDonough Street. The front door of her neighbor’s home has a broken door frame, where two months ago someone tried to force their way into the house.
White knew something was up when police were patrolling the neighborhood Tuesday morning.
“I’m really curious to know where they’re getting the guns,” White said.
White hears pops and bangs throughout the neighborhood when she’s outside.
“I hear them all the time and think, ‘Is that fireworks or a gun?’” she said. “I don’t know the difference.”
Across the street, White’s neighbor, Tom Findlay, was left wondering why the gunplay has popped up so suddenly this summer.
Findlay said his co-workers are comparing Sandusky to Cleveland these days.
“They say it’s the year of the gunshots,” Findlay said.
A $2,000 reward has been offered to anyone who can provide information that leads to an arrest and conviction of those involved in five shootings on Hancock, Reese and First streets, as well as one on North Larchmont Drive.
Anyone with information can contact Sandusky police at 419-627-5877 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Police have received about 30 phone calls, some of those multiple calls and most coming within the first few days after the reward was announced.
“The comments I’m hearing while out there is that people are tired of the shootings and if they know anything they are going to call,” Sandusky police Det. John Orzech said.