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Neighbors to line street with light to honor slain officer

Wire • Mar 23, 2011 at 6:10 PM

As darkness fell over a Perkins Township neighborhood, Tiffany McCord stood at the end of her driveway looking down her quiet street, luminarias tucked into a tidy row, casting a soft glow on the street.

It was a wonderful feeling, said Mrs. McCord, who lives on the same street as Sandusky police Officer Andrew Dunn's family. Dunn's widow is a 1998 Norwalk High School graduate.

Mrs. McCord never met the officer but waved to his wife, Julie, a few times when the young mother pushed her son in a stroller. The couple had two young boys, including a 5-month-old. Still, Mrs. McCord wanted to do something.

She typed up a flyer to put in mailboxes with help from her 14-year-old son Riley, asking neighbors to place a luminaria at the end of their driveway and to light it every night this week to honor the police officer who was killed in the line of duty on Saturday.

"When I found out he lives [on my street], I started to cry," she said. "It's for the family, it's for the police officers, it's for the community."

Officer Dunn was the first Sandusky officer to be killed in the line of duty, police Chief Jim Lang had said.

Kevin Randleman, 50, of Sandusky was charged with the officer's murder on Sunday at the University of Toledo Medical Center, formerly the Medical College of Ohio, where he's receiving treatment for his gunshot wounds. The case is to go to a grand jury at 8:30 a.m. today.

Officer Dunn made a self-initiated traffic stop at 3 a.m. Saturday when he saw Randleman riding his bike on Tyler Street. The officer stopped Randleman because he did not have lights on his bike, according to information released yesterday by the Erie County Sheriff's Office.

Randleman did not immediately stop, which can be heard in a recording of radio traffic between Officer Dunn and dispatchers.

Randleman fired six shots at Officer Dunn, hitting him five times, authorities said. The officer responded by firing 12 shots, striking Randleman twice in the arm.

Officer Dunn was shot three times in the back and once in the left forearm. A fifth bullet was caught by the officer's bulletproof vest before penetrating his body, authorities said. Officer Dunn was taken to Firelands Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 4:33 a.m., although a Lucas County Coroner's report says the officer died within minutes of the shooting.

At least seven of the other shots fired by the officer pierced six windows at Firelands Regional Medical Center -- where doctors' offices are housed -- as Randleman was running away, authorities said.

Assisting officers arrived on the scene moments after the shooting and arrested Randleman, who had tried to flee on foot, said Erie County Prosecutor Kevin Baxter.

Randleman was taken to UTMC for treatment, where he is under around-the-clock supervision. After his release from the medical center, Randleman will be held without bond in the Erie County jail.

Randleman could face the death penalty if prosecutors can prove he knew he was firing at a police officer.

Authorities say the investigation is ongoing.

Officer Dunn was hired as a full-time patrolman by the Sandusky Police Department on May 16, 2008, with a one-year probationary period, according to his personnel file.

The file indicates Officer Dunn was a well-respected officer with few problems. He was late for work several times, and at least two complaints were filed against him during his three years as a full-time officer.

An Oct. 23, 2010, review stated that Officer Dunn "takes calls without complaint and is willing to offer assistance to others. He is always looking for ways to improve his knowledge and is active in his drug enforcement."

The same review stated the young officer did have room for improvement.

"Officer Dunn is eager to do his job and he should be commended for this, but at times it appears that he may be treading in unfamiliar waters that could place him in jeopardy. He needs to remember that officer safety is the first priority at all times."

A funeral for Officer Dunn will be held Friday at 1 p.m. at The Chapel, 4444 Galloway Road, Huron Township. It will be followed by a procession to Calvary Cemetery, 2020 Sanford St., Sandusky. Visitation will be from noon to 8 p.m. Thursday at The Chapel.

The public is asked to line Friday's procession route, concentrating in the downtown Sandusky area and on Columbus Avenue.


By Taylor Dungjen - The Blade, Toledo (MCT)

Copyright (c) 2011, The Blade, Toledo, Ohio

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

To see more of The Blade, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.toledoblade.com.

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