April 18, 2014

Medina
Partly cloudy
48°F

Update: 911 call marked start of fatal Brunswick standoff

Click on arrow below to listen to the 911 call (WARNING: contains explicit language):

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By Loren Genson and David Knox

BRUNSWICK — A 39-year-old man who held off police for 30 hours is dead — shot multiple times by SWAT team officers, according to Brunswick Police Chief Carl DeForest.

The standoff at a home at 1528 Jefferson Ave. began about 1:30 p.m. Friday in response to a report of possible domestic violence and ended about 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Two Brunswick police vehicles sit in the driveway of 1528 Jefferson Ave. in Brunswick Sunday morning. According to Medina County Coroner Neil Grabenstetter, a 39-year-old man was shot and killed by police Saturday evening after a 30-hour standoff. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY LOREN GENSON)

At a news conference this afternoon, DeForest identified the man as Terrence Abel.

The chief said Rahna Fahringer, the 46-year-old owner of the home, was taken hostage by the man, who was described as her former boyfriend.

DeForest said Fahringer was shot and wounded by the man. She was taken to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland with non-life-threatening injuries. A hospital spokesperson said she was listed in good condition Sunday evening.

The standoff began after Brunswick police received a phone call from a man who said his brother had gone to the home to assault his former girlfriend.

Officers found the front door broken in and barricaded and reported hearing a man and woman arguing. The man refused to come out and was reported to be armed.

The Southwest Enforcement Bureau SWAT team was called about 2:30 p.m., some nearby homes were reported evacuated, and Jefferson Avenue was closed south of state Route 303. Members of the Medina County Sheriff’s Office also assisted.

Medina County Coroner Neil Grabenstetter said the man was fatally shot multiple times by police officers but said he didn’t know the details of the shooting.

He said the body was taken to the Cuyahoga County medical examiner for forensic tests.
DeForest confirmed the man was shot by police. But he said Brunswick officers did not fire the fatal shots and were not involved in the SWAT team assault on the house that ended the standoff.

The SWAT team is part of the Southwest Enforcement Bureau, a regional law enforcement group, which includes Brunswick, Brunswick Hills Township and Hinckley Township in Medina County and more than a dozen Cuyahoga County communities, including Strongsville, Berea and Parma.

In addition to SWAT and sniper teams, the group has officers who have received special training in hostage negotiations and bomb disposal.

DeForest said the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation was called in to investigate the standoff and the shooting.

The chief declined to discuss details of the standoff and shooting until a news conference, expected to be held sometime today.

While no official account of the standoff is available yet, a person identifying herself as Fahringer’s 12-year-old daughter has described the standoff on her public Facebook page. The Gazette could not independently confirm the poster’s identity.

In the posting, she writes that her mother was shot in the leg by the man and kept in a room during the standoff.

Rahna Fahringer shows off her Habitat for Humanity home at 1528 Jefferson Ave. in Brunswick during a dedication ceremony in September 2009, (GAZETTE FILE PHOTO)

“He locked my mom in room for 30 hours with no food and barely any thing to drink,” she wrote.

She identified the man as her mother’s ex-boyfriend and said he had lived in their home before the breakup.

She described the man as threatening and wrote that he abused her mother during their relationship and that she was scared of him.

“Before this happened and he still lived with us, some night I would sit in a corner and cry,” she wrote.

She also wrote that her mother is expected to recover.

Fahringer’s Jefferson Avenue home was built by Habitat for Humanity in 2009. She completed more than 300 volunteer hours that counted as her share of sweat equity in the project.

Fahringer, a Kent State University graduate, was featured in a story in the Medina Gazette when she moved into the home. She said she had lived in apartments but wanted to move into a home for her two children.

Councilman Tony Capretta, 4th Ward, who represents the Jefferson Avenue area, said residents were relieved the standoff was over.

“Unfortunately, this was a tragedy, and a man got shot,” he said. “People were shocked that it happened on their street, but they were glad to see our police force out there doing a really good job.”

Capretta said the police chief did a good job keeping residents safe. He praised him for diverting school buses from Jefferson Avenue and having parents pickup their children from school.

Capretta, who also serves on the city’s safety committee, said the standoff demonstrated the importance of the city’s 0.5 percent income tax for the safety forces, which was passed in last month’s election.

“I was glad we had a professional police force in place,” he said. “We had great response time and officers that did their job.”

Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or lgenson@medina-gazette.com. Contact David Knox at (330) 721-4065 or dknox@medina-gazette.com.

  • Bill L.

    I wish I could have a home for less than 8 weeks of full time work.