no avatar

Teen in custody after shooting mother

Scott Seitz • Jun 6, 2012 at 2:10 PM

A local teenager shot his mother in the back and then fled Wednesday. He was caught two hours later.

Michael Mason, 16, was being held in a juvenile detention center awaiting a hearing today in Huron County Juvenile Court.

The boy's mother, Melissa Mason, was listed in good condition at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo, where she was taken after initially going to Mercy Willard Hospital. She had been shot in the back.

"She was alert and conscious and in pain," Willard Police Chief Mark Holden said.

(NOTE - To see pictures related to the shooting, click HERE.)

The shooting took place at 23 N. Main St., Willard, in the house where Mason and his mother live. Willard police received a call about the shooting at 11:30 a.m.

Holden said investigators have yet to determine a motive.

"(I) don't know what to think," Holden said about the situation. "Kids aren't supposed to do that to their mothers."

Officers recovered the weapon used in the shooting -- a .22 caliber pistol. The gun belongs to the boy's grandfather, who reported it stolen last week, Holden said.

Michael Mason fled after the shooting, prompting a manhunt that involved Willard police, the Huron County Sheriff's Office, its special response team (SRT) as well as the Norwalk Police Department SRT and state Highway Patrol.

Officers received a tip from a student that Mason was at the Pearl Street residence, Holden said.

Mason attempted to give police a false name, Holden said, but the school resource officer recognized him from prior incidents and the boy was taken into custody about 1:30 p.m.

"Scary ... scary," said David Miller, who is renting the Pearl Street home where Mason was arrested. "You just never know."

Miller said he had just returned from Norwalk and saw his son outside talking with Mason.

Mason indicated he had a falling out with his mother and wanted to go to his grandmother's, Miller said.

Mason didn't give any indication to Miller what had just happened, Miller said.

"I didn't know that was this over here," Miller said, pointing to the shooting location.

Alerts sent via phone calls, emails and texts through the Huron County public alert system had advised area residents to be on the look out for "Michael Mason," who was described as a 5-foot-8, 140-pound white 15-year-old boy. He was wearing Army shorts, a black shirt, glasses, an orange backpack and a black hat.

Residents also were told Mason might be armed and dangerous and was driving a brown 2001 sport utility vehicle.

A final alert notified residents that Mason had been caught.

Willard City Schools were on lockdown following the shooting.

"We immediately went off lockdown status and right to regular procedures," Superintendent David Danhoff said.

Danhoff said Mason hadn't attended Willard schools for about a year.

"He was a student here, but was a drop-out and was not at this school this year," Danhoff said.

The superintendent had high praise for the many people who handled the situation.

"I want to thank the Willard police, which did a great job and Chief Mark Holden, who also did a great job keeping us informed," he said. "I also want to thank the staff and support staff and administrators and especially our parents and guardians for paying attention to the One Call."

EDITOR'S NOTE: Managing editor Joe Centers contributed to this story.

Recommended for You

    Norwalk Reflector Videos