Ashtabula Township, Ohio (WOIO) - A man went to the home of the mother of two of his children and used a shotgun to blast his way in through a backdoor. She was there with three children and her new fiancee.
The 911 call from a neighbor came in at eight minutes after 7 a.m. on Thursday. Deputies got to the home in the 1900 block of E. 39th Street about eight minutes later.
The man was still inside threatening, but hadn’t fired any shots.
“As the deputies were assessing that and approaching the front of the house, a female that was inside the house broke out a window and yelled to the deputies, 'Help, there’s somebody in the house with a gun!,” said Ashtabula County Sheriff William Johnson.
Early on, deputies knew it was going to be tense. They went in, shouted at the man to put down the shotgun he was holding. He didn’t, and pointed it at them. They fired, killing him.
That led to a troubling discovery, according to the sheriff.
“He had a bulletproof vest on, had a backpack, which later was see to be loaded with ammunition, two shotguns, a handgun. There was a knife on him and in his boot was a flare.”
Johnson speculates the flare might have been to set an arson fire.
The Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Office identified the man as Christopher Mills.
Throughout the day investigators, combed the home for clues.
In the afternoon, a stretcher was brought in. Clearly, it was domestic situation.
A neighbor came to the door with swollen eyes.
“I’ve known her for two years. She has really great kids, good kids. I know she just got engaged to her boyfriend he had just moved in,” she said.
“It seems to me like the three kids and two adults lives were saved due to us responding to the scene,” added Sheriff Johnson.
The investigation has been turned over to Ohio’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation, which is department protocol.
The officers involved are on paid leave.