Sandusky police continue their search for "a strong person of interest" in connection with shooting the stepfather of a former Norwalk woman as part of a botched drug deal.
The victim, Bartt Carruthers, 49, of Sandusky, was shot at the Grant Street car wash in Sandusky about 6:15 p.m. Jan. 16. A LifeFlight helicopter flew the victim to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo.
"He's very fortunate; if he didn't turn, he'd be dead," said Sandusky Police Detective Gary Wichman, referring to Carruthers turning and running at the same time the suspect fired his gun three times.
"He's actually at home now recovering," Wichman said.
The victim's stepdaughter, Katie S. Wilson, 25, of Sandusky, has been charged in connection with the ongoing investigation.
The former Norwalk resident is charged with complicity to aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony punishable by three to 11 years in prison. Wilson also faces theft and burglary charges stemming from a separate case.
Wilson must post a $51,351 bond before being released from the Erie County Jail.
"She is subject to further charges," Wichman said about possible charges filed through an Erie County grand jury.
Wichman briefly outlined Wilson's role in the botched drug deal, which led to her stepfather being shot.
"She set up a drug deal to sell her stepdad a number of Xanax bars," the detective said.
Wilson told police she was with an unknown black male subject at the self-serve car wash Jan. 16.
"We know that to be false," Wichman said, adding that Wilson has refused to identify the man. "She's not talking right now."
When Carruthers arrived, Wilson reportedly asked for the cash and her stepfather asked to see the pills, the detective said.
"They failed to produce the pills," Wichman said.
At that point, the male suspect with Wilson fired his gun three times.
Perkins Township Police Chief Ken Klamar was off duty at the time, loading groceries into his car at the nearby Kroger parking lot. Klamar called 9-1-1 and reported hearing the three shots.
About nine minutes later, an employee at Firelands Counseling and Recovery Center, on Hayes Avenue, called 9-1-1 after Carruthers stumbled into the office.
Wichman said one shot hit Carruthers "right above the heart."
"It appears he was turning (as the gunman fired)," the detective added.
The bullet entered the man's chest above his heart, exited under his left armpit and went into his left arm.
"So there are actually two bullet wounds on the same arm," Wichman said.
Police are continuing their search for the gunman.
"We have a strong person of interest," said Wichman, who declined to release the suspect's name.