Guns have grip on Sandusky

In the days after Officer Andrew Dunn's shooting death, his father denounced the violence in the city.
Sarah Weber
Apr 4, 2011

In the days after Officer Andrew Dunn's shooting death, his father denounced the violence in the city.

Matt Dunn grew up in Sandusky, raised his family here and has spent more than 20 years on its police force.

For many of those years, Dunn said, an officer's biggest concern was maybe dodging cars.

"Now all these little ones that I'm looking at here are dodging bullets," he said. "This is an every-night occasion in town anymore that we have shots fired. It's senseless. And what I'm going through, what his mom is going through, what the rest of our family is going through, I hope nobody else has to go through."

Andrew Dunn, 30, died March 19 after he was shot five times during a traffic stop on Tyler Street. A grand jury has indicted Kevin Randleman, 50, of Sandusky, for murder and related weapons charges.

The gun Randleman allegedly used to shoot Dunn was illegally concealed, police said.

Just three days before the Tyler Street shootout, meanwhile, a masked man robbed the Best Budget Inn on Cleveland Road at gunpoint. He got away with an undisclosed amount of money.

Officers have also investigated several recent reports of gunshots in the city.

Gun violence peaked in June and July 2010, when shootings plagued numerous Sandusky neighborhoods, Sandusky police Detective John Orzech said.

Police made a number of arrests after last summer's shootings, and the gunplay quieted for a while.

But recently it has flared up again, Orzech said.

In fact, the city's spate of gun violence has progressively become the worst he's seen in his 13 years at the department, Orzech said.

"We're going to have to do something to curtail it," he said.

Officers who try to clear illegal weapons and their users off the streets don't have an easy job ahead of them.

The revolver Randleman allegedly used to shoot Dunn has not been documented since it was sold in 1975 at a Tennessee gun shop. A .38-caliber Colt "Detective's Special," the weapon has never been listed as stolen.

"I'd say 90 percent of the guns we deal with are like that," Orzech said.

Randleman himself was the victim of gun violence in the city on June 12, when he suffered a superficial leg wound during a gunfight at Hancock and Neil streets, according to police records.

In that incident, members of two local gangs started firing at each other at about 1:45 a.m., unloading about a dozen .40- or .45-caliber shots near a crowd of about 60 people.

A week later, bullets narrowly missed a woman and her son as they slept at a residence in the 1200 block of First St. As many as 12 bullets were fired blindly into the home.

Gunfire rang out again in the city June 20 and July 6, when bullets went through homes in the 1600 block of North Larchmont Drive and the 400 block of Reese St., respectively. The occupants in the homes escaped injury.

On July 14, a 37-year-old man suffered a bullet wound to the stomach and collapsed at Columbus and Scott streets. An early-morning jogger found him.

Then, on July 19, another man was shot in the leg while walking down Huntington Drive.

Sandusky ex officio mayor Dan Kaman said city commissioners are discussing their options as they set out to reduce gun violence in the wake of Dunn's death.

Commissioner Julie Farrar encouraged residents to speak up and take responsibility for improving the city's safety.

"When you see people shooting guns, don't pull that, 'Oh well, I didn't see anything,'" she said at a recent commission meeting. "As soon as something happens to one of your loved ones or next-door neighbors, you need to speak up.

"It's hurting the police department when people are not speaking up," Farrar said. "People are not saying what they know."

Sandusky police have a tip line — 419-627-5980 — residents can call and anonymously leave information.

The police will also allow people to drop off illegal and unwanted firearms, Orzech said.

In light of the recent gun violence, some residents might want to remove illegal weapons from their households. To do so, they can simply call police at 419-627-5863 and make an appointment to turn over the guns.

"This crazy, senseless violence has got to stop," Matt Dunn said. "There is no racial issue; there is no issue other than civility."



 Gun control is pointless if people who buy guns legally turn around and blindly sell them to anyone . Point in case of this gun Randleman used which has been in the wind over 30 years . There will always be illegally weapons out there , so perhaps keeping  better track of criminals would be better along with harder sentences and strict tracking of drug offenders . 

Just Thinkin

GUNS !!!! MY BUTT It's fools with them and JUDGES who slap hands and prisons with a comfortable lifestyle and better social programs than a working person can afford, GUNS NO! Jail time and chain gangs  YES !!!!!!  through out the P C Crap jail is jail not a social club nor a fitness center !

Trigger from Erie

What is all this talk about "unregistered" firearms? Since when is there a law in Sandusky, or Ohio for that matter, that requires firearms to be "registered?" Registered with whom? It's about time somebody clears this up (I'm looking at you, Sandsky Register, since you seem to love throwing the phrase "unregistered firearm" around). As for encouraging people with "unregistered" firearms in their homes to turn in their guns to police, that sounds like a way to get people who are law-abiding, albeit confused by information they are hearing about a registration scheme that does not exist, to turn over their means of self-defense in an increasingly dangerous city. Great idea.

Señor Clown

Thank you, Trigger. I too have been uneasy with the media and community commenter use of the 'unregistered' firearm terms. To the best of my knowledge, the only registered firearms in Erie county are the Title II weapons which are required to be registered with, and transfer by, the BATF by order of the National Firearms Act. This 'unregistered' talk needs to stop, as it is misleading and confusing for the general populous that is largely ignorant to what the laws pertaining to firearm ownership actually are. Law enforcement and media should know well enough to differentiate between 'unregistered' (which is ANY legally or illegally obtained firearm excluding machine guns, suppressed firearms, or short-barreled rifles and shotguns in the ATF registry) and people carrying 'unlicensed' - as in having a pistol and carrying it, concealed, without a concealed carry permit from the State of Ohio or a reciprocal state. 


In biblical times they used stones. Guns are not the problem. We are right where the social engineers want us to be. The destruction of morals. The hatred of religion. The rise in divorce and cohabitation. They will let it go until they can install martial law and thus flush the constitution down the toilet for good. May Mr. Dunn rest in peace I show no dissrespect to his soul. However violence in Sandusky has been an issue for a long time. Being a police officer himself his father knew this. But it took the death of his own son to speak out now. Taking guns is what every nation in the world has done before they became a totolatarian government. The answer lies with every american citizen. Get back to God. Restore morals and the family. You can be the spoiled child kicking and screaming in your unbelief or you can swallow your pride and give to God what is Gods.

brutus smith

 I thought God gave everyone a free will? Getting back to God will stop gun violence? Really? I don't think those people in the south who were hung or shot to death after Sunday church services would agree.


I would like to know what type of people are using these guns. Are they all low income, welfare, middle class? Are they white, black, hispanic, all races? Are the guns used in one certain area of town? Is it safe to go to the mall and the stores after dark? If you can narrow it down, maybe you can find out why it is happening. I think Sandusky is one of the most historic towns around and would hate to see it completely lose its charm because of a few individuals.


Sandusky police have a tip line -- 419-627-5980 -- residents can call and anonymously leave information.

How about the SPD also have an email address for anonymous information?

Many people are too afraid to report criminal activity due to retaliation and retribution.

A small reward may entice some to report criminal activity that result in an arrest.

How many of these criminals are also receiving government assistance?

SR watcher

Good post, Trigger.  The Register's continued harping about "unregistered" firearms only serves to confuse the issue(s).  It leads the public to believe that a gun registration process exists in Sandusky, in Ohio, or throughout the country when it most certainly doesn't.  It posits that having an "unregistered" gun in one's possession is somehow a violation of law.  It is sensationalist journalism at its worst.

I am a law-abiding citizen.  I own guns.  None of them are registered.  And none ever will be, since I don't plan on moving to Illinois, New York, or any such other "totalitarian" state that requires registration.  I use my guns for lawful purposes such as hunting, target shooting, and defense of self and others, and I do not see the need for the government--federal, state, or local--to know how many or what kinds of firearms I possess.   

The Register's attempt to demonstrate a causal connection between some irrelevant nonsense about "unregistered" guns and an increase in gun violence in Sandusky is beyond conclusory.  It's an absurd, irresponsible ploy to encourage responsible citizens to disarm themselves so the criminals can perpetrate even more violence in the City.  Shame on you, Sandusky Register.


I have been waiting since this senseless killing for the anti gun tilt of the Sandusky Register to kick in. The "unregistered gun" phrase is just the beginning. If you purchase a gun from a dealer, you do a 4473 form and undergo a background check. However, when the dealer calls in for the background check he/she tells them the type of firearm, (handgun,long gun, or other), but not specific information such as model or serial number. So, technically no gun is registered, even if it was bought new. Only in the trace of a weapon used in a crime does this info become known. It is held in the gun dealers info until called for in the trace. Casual sales between individuals (gun shows, friends, etc) remains legal. It is illegal for a felon, fugitive from justice, drug dependent, dishonorably discharged from the military, under court restraining order for violence, adjudicated mentally defective, convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence, renounced your citizenship,or illegally in the U.S. from possessing a gun. So take the criminals off the street and leave the huge majority of the law abiding gun owners alone. IT IS NOT THE GUN, IT IS THE CRIMINAL that is the problem in Sandusky and in fact anywhere violence is an issue.

maverick12's picture

@ Trigger from Erie

I agree!
It is not unregistered guns that are the problem...the problem is the criminals!
We don't need gun control...we need criminal control! Get the criminal off the street and keep him off!

It is not illegal to own an unregistered gun in Ohio...but articles like this make it seem that way. Even if it became a law, the criminal won't care. He will simply pay the increased black market value as a result...or steal it!

The article says report the violence. By all means! Don't witness a crime and do nothing...take a stand!

DEEPsix's picture

 "How many acts of GUN VIOLENCE does ISRAEL have in a year?"  On average, Israel only encounters 42 direct results of GUN VIOLENCE... THE REASON IT IS SO LOW IS, EVERY CITIZENS HAS MANDATORY TWO YEAR MILITARY SERVICE UPON GRADUATION FROM HIGH SCHOOL..., and serves in the reserves until age 70.


The terrorist use rockets, and cowardly bombs to kill there, BECAUSE, IF THEY WALKED INTO AN AREA WITH A GUN, IT WOULD BE OPEN SEASON ON THEM FROM A HUNDRED DIRECTIONS!  Law enforcement IS EVERYONES DUTY within a society, so until America realizes what our constitutions says, we're headed down that path to total destruction! The terror attacks aren't our #1 concern anymore, because it has been replaced BY MORALE SUICIDE!

WAKE UP all of you who believe we have gun problems, because the real problem is the liberal attitude towards ignoring our constitutional rights, and the marxists agenda of weak leaders!!!

Erie Country had very low crime rates when it was a republican(CONSERVATIVE) region... NOW, since the twist over to liberal elected officials, failed economy, terrible educational systems, anti-life platforms, the AREA IS GETTING WHAT IT ASKED FOR BY ELECTING SUCH FEEBLE LEADERS. Those quasi-leaders have imbedded their "friends" throughout city/county hall

So..... look at what you have!  A murdered hero police officer, shots fired "almost" nightly, because leaders who only know how to build parks, and waterholes are running "their agenda down the throats of a once great region."

Not until you decide the city needs a PROFESSIONAL FULL TIME MAYOR, WARDS MEN, and employees held to the HIGHEST STANDARD, will you return to a civil community.


The only way to get these criminals to stop terrorizing good people is to MAKE it so they are afraid of the consequences. We have so many repeat offenders because the jail saystem is apparently a joke. They get treated better in jail than living on the streets. So they dont care if they get caught. The stupid laws that are made are so easy on these thugs. If you murder someone you should NEVER EVER be allowed to be free again. I believe in death penalty but not keeping them in prison letting them appeal and waste money for years before carrying it out. We keep these thugs in prison where they get good food, weight rooms, bed to sleep in, showers etc. Also free medical care. So they cant come and go as they please. I've known ppl who were in prison and they say it "isnt that bad" Well that is the PROBLEM!!! Feed them bread and water. Take away there beds make them sleep on the floor. No entertainment. Let them sit and think about what they did. Make it so miserable that they NEVER wanna come back. Until this happens nothing will change. These thugs will continue to hurt ppl and steal and every other crime until the horrible crime and the punishment are equal. Do I sound harsh? Dam right I do. i'm a mom with 3 kids and I'm tired of worrying about them everytime they go to sandusky because of all this violence. Am I against guns? No. We have about 8 of them in our house. All bought and registered and kept in a locked gun cabinet. I'm against thugs with guns needlessly killing innocent people!!! I'm against officials making things way to freaking easy on these criminals. If they shoot someone, shoot them and let then sit and suffer. Bet they wont go out and keep shooting people if they know they will get shot in return. Come on ppl. Stop being so easy on these thugs. They do not wanna live peacefully with the rest of us so get rid of them. one by one they would start disappearing off the streets if the punishment was harsher. A slap on the wrist, a big fine they never intend on paying, and a few months or a year in a place that is better living then most of them are used too is NOT punishment!!!!! If you kill someone you should be killed. if you rape someone you should be killed or at least have your privates cut off so you never do it again! If you steal cut their dam hand off they wont do it again.


Keep in mind the Register is not gun friendly never has been never will be.

Matt Westerhold is the one that had CHL holders names published in the paper and refused to stop publishing them.

This is just another sign of the liberal media pushing there ideals on it's audiance.


Honestly, Register, what IS it with your political biases masquerading as news? Everyone here who took issue with your claims of "unregistered" is absolutely correct. There is NO firearms registration required in the vast majority of states, including Ohio. Perhaps you are using "unregistered" as a synonym for "illegal." If so, that only makes your verbiage all the worse, and your anti-freedom stance all the more obvious.

The majority of posters are also firmly grasping the obvious that you can't seem to find despite the reporters and researchers on staff: Guns aren't the issue. CRIMINALS are the problem. I couldn't agree more with maverick12. We don't need gun control; we need CRIMINAL control.

Register readers, don't let the Register's reports confuse you. SR watcher's words should be heeded by every law-abiding citizen in the community. You are NOT required to register your legally owned guns, and the mere SUGGESTION you surrender any "unregistered" weapons is an affront both to the Bill of Rights and to your safety and well being. "Shame on you, Sandusky Register" indeed!

6079 Smith W

And doesn't Switzerland have the highest gun ownership per capita in the world, yet has a low homicide rate?

Go ahead @#$% elitist bureaucrats, outlaw firearms and every backyard mechanic in the U.S. will soon be busy manufacturing firearms and cartridges.

Videos on how to make zip guns can be found on the web:

 "God created all men, but Sam Colt made them equal"



T. A. Schwanger
Thoughts and prayers go out to the Dunn Family. What a senseless and tragic death of a young man.   The Community and Police Union need to put pressure on City leaders, beginning with the Mayor, to spend some of the $3 million carryover balance on putting two police officers in each vehicle during night shift patrols. This practice was abolished as a budget cut.
maverick12's picture

High price to pay for a "budget cut".

Put the focus on guns though and we won't have to feel the guilt of sorry leadership.


what does sweden have to do with usa?


forgot about randleman getting shot last summer ...... guess that was a black on black ..... he can't get along with anybody!


need to take some big disciplinary actions against criminals carrying, and using, illegal guns (no brainer)!


how many blacks live in sweden ....... and have drug involvement?


Wow that took a little longer than I expected, but knew it was coming down the pipes. The SR demonizing unregistered weapons is misleading, how about demonizing the thug, and the fact the criminals are called criminals for a reason. We have criminals breaking all sorts of laws, its always the criminals fault, after they committ a gun crime, its always the guns fault, the gun has to have an operator. Thats like blaming a vehicle for causing an ovi accident, the car cant drive itself. But here they are, the utopians who feel banning guns will save the world, ignorant of the fact that man has killed man from the dawn of time.Hey how about enforcing laws that are already on the books, how about we actually sentence people like Randleman correctly the first time. But no, we want to take everyones guns away, or make them impossible to have. Its not just on the local scale, the EU and UN have been on a crusade to ban citizens rights to own guns in numerous countries, why do you think that is? The Swiss as mentioned below refuse to roll over and become victims of  "the new dictatorship" as should we. Start punishing these sh%^ bag criminals, stay away from my second amendment right!! Lets look at the facts around the assault weapon ban, it did not do anything, as proven. Many anti-gunners who pushed it, when asked, didnt even know what a heat shield or extended magazine was, all they heard was no guns and jumped on the wagon, now Obama wants a new ban. What about this wild west image they projected in regards to ccw, facts show that did not happen either, but they are good at twisting facts, and misleading the uniformed, just like this garbage article!  Molon Labe


Didn't the Register run an article recently telling residents that the city wants input on how to spend the money they have? Let's all tell them we want MORE POLICE to clean up this town!


This article should be titled SCUMBAGS HAVE A GRIP ON SANDUSKY! I havnt seen a single gun running around attacking anyone. Thugs are the problem not the guns!


I agree with TA Schwanger. The Sandusky Police used to have a very well trained and respected part -time force of almost 30 officers. They consisted of officers with 30 years or more experience, and also retired Captains, Sergeants, and so forth. And all this for $9.00 per hour, with no benefits. Then came along Kim Nuesse. She chose to stop paying these officers and placing them on the $1.00 per year status, in order to save money. Some chose to remain on in order to keep their certification, and some moved on. But the program eventually dissolved. How in the world the City Commission ever saw it fit to loose all the experience, and two man cars over $9.00 per hour is beyond me. I'm not saying this would have prevented Officer Dunn's shooting, but it sure would not hurt. The sight of two officers exiting car instead of one would sure make me think twice.


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained racist or discriminatory remarks. Discussion Guidelines


Looks like Cleveland is bring there trash here. Man, just think I was looking at housing there last summer till my wife said, "I don't think so." Glad I didn't fight her on that.

Erie County Resident

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained profanity and personal attacks. Discussion Guidelines


 Don't worry Sandusky The NAACP is gathering an army of reverands and setting up meetings as we write....problem will be solved let Barb Clark and liberalmomof3 work their majic....lmao!