Cleveland man shot and killed inside ex-girlfriend’s home after alleged domestic violence incident

Published: Mar. 8, 2021 at 11:11 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A man was shot to death inside his ex-girlfriend’s Slavic Village home according to Cleveland Police.

Was it murder or self-defense?

It’s one of the first cases we’ve seen under the state’s controversial new “stand your ground law” comes into play.

The alleged domestic violence victim called 911 on February 21st after the shooting.

Before officers found 28- year-old Mark Downs shot in the chest, she would not tell dispatchers who else was at her East 57th Street residence.

“Who shot him?” the dispatcher asked on the 911 recording.

“I don’t know,” she said.

“No, you do know. Who shot him?” the dispatcher asked again.

“I don’t know,” the woman replies.

“You do know,” the dispatcher said.

According to police, it was the father of the woman’s child who pulled the trigger.

Devaugh Killingsworth is listed on the police report as a suspect in the shooting turned homicide.

But, officers tell 19 Investigates he’s not been charged because the killing may have been justified.

Court records show Downs had a history of domestic violence charges involving the woman living at the home.

In fact, she called police hours before the shooting on to report Downs had come over and hit her again.

She says she asked Killingsworth to stay the night with her because she was scared Downs would return. And, he did.

Police say Downs used a spare key to get in.

Killingsworth confronted Downs in the kitchen and ultimately fired that deadly shot.

According to part of Ohio law called the castle doctrine, a gun owner can use deadly force inside their residence without retreating if acting in self-defense.

Police say they released Killingsworth on that principle.

He wasn’t inside his own home, but earlier this year Gov. Mike Dewine signed a controversial bill that expanded the state’s “stand your ground” law that could also come into play here.

Now, a gun owner does not have to prove he or she considered retreating before using force, in any location, as long as they “reasonably believed that the force was necessary to prevent injury.”

Again, no charges have been filed against Killingsworth.

When we reached back out to the police, a spokesperson told us when the investigation wraps up, detectives will present the facts to a prosecutor to determine whether charges are necessary.

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