‘How does this happen?’ Toledo records 3 homicides in single day

Published: Sep. 12, 2022 at 6:44 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The City of Toledo is coming off a violent and deadly weekend. For the second time this year, the city recorded three homicides in a single day over the weekend.

Toledo has now seen more than 40 homicides this year.

Aaron Williams-Gaston was shot and killed in his car on Hoiles Ave. early Saturday. Just 12 hours later, Charles Marshall was found dead on Platt St. The same day, Eric Ham was found dead inside a home on Grantley. The homeowner, Adam Links, is facing a murder charge in Ham’s death.

Community members described the recent spike in gun violence as heartbreaking and frustrating.

Andrew Dlugosielski is the Public Information Officer for TPD.

“It’s very frustrating for police,” Dlugosielski said. “We’re out there day in and day out, 24/7, 7-days a week trying to prevent crimes like this.”

They’re crimes that have far-reaching and long-term effects on a number of levels.

“We have people out here who think solving their problem with violence will end it but that is just the beginning,” Dlugosielski said. “You’ve taken a life, you’ve ruined the lives of the victim’s family members. You’ve ruined your own life too once you’re arrested.”

Julia Bates is the Lucas County Prosecutor.

“We are so busy with gun and violence cases,” Bates said. “This is so unnecessary. How does this happen? People are just shooting at each other. They’re shooting in cars, parking lots. They’re just shooting, shooting, shooting.”

One of the efforts to change that was a gun buy-back event. The prosecutor’s office and Toledo Police held it on Saturday.

“We ran out of money in two hours,” Bates said. “That was $24,000 given away in 2 hours for about 150 guns but we can do much better. We didn’t know if it would be successful, or if people would come out, but they did.”

The gun buy-back event is just one example of the efforts to change what’s happening in our city. Technology and specialized policing programs are in play around-the-clock as well. That includes community service officers who are assigned to each area of the city.

“They go into neighborhoods and get to know everyone and mediate if they need to,” Dlugosielski said. “They work to cool tensions if there is something happening.”

Bates said as the violence continues, so will the flow of ideas to stop it.

“Every possible thing we could think of to do, we should do, no matter how far-fetched,” Bates said.

Bates said she believes it is critical for us to get back to more education and prevention programs in schools when it comes to guns, drugs, and domestic violence.

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