SHEFFIELD TWP. — The scared 5-year-old stepdaughter of Billy Alexander, the man shot and killed by a member of the Lorain County SWAT Team on Saturday, can be heard on a 911 call begging Alexander not to kill his family.
“Daddy, please stop. Please stop, daddy,” the girl said to Alexander as he allegedly waved a handgun in front of the girl and her mother, Celsa Alexander.
Celsa Alexander had called 911 around 1:30 a.m. Saturday to report that her husband, a convicted sex offender released from prison in 2008, had attacked her and was making threats.
Listen to the 911 call:
There were several calls between phones in the Alexanders’ Dewitt Street home in Sheffield Township and dispatchers at both 911 and the Sheriff’s Office. Most of those were hang-up calls that dispatchers unsuccessfully tried to return.
Celsa Alexander briefly spoke with dispatchers once before the call cut off. Just before the line went dead, she said Billy Alexander, 41, kept taking the phone away from her.
She later called back and described the unfolding situation as her armed husband stood in front of her and her daughter, who was on her lap. Throughout the incident, Celsa Alexander tried to comfort her daughter.
“It’s OK, baby, it’s OK, Mommy’s got you,” she said at one point during the call before detailing how Billy Alexander had thrown both her and her possessions around the house.
She said she had just had surgery on her nose and Billy Alexander had struck her in the face. Celsa Alexander also told dispatchers that her husband had pulled the hammer on the gun back several times, ejecting bullets out the side.
At one point during the call, she told her 12-year-old son to go upstairs with the family’s dogs.
A few minutes into the call, a gunshot rang out.
Celsa Alexander told the dispatcher that Billy Alexander had fired out the open front door and gone outside. She said she didn’t know where he had gone after that.
As the dispatcher urged the crying Celsa Alexander to find a place to hide, the voices of county Sheriff’s deputies can be heard over the open phone line ordering her and her children out of the house.
Chief Deputy Dennis Cavanaugh said after Billy Alexander fired at them, the deputies pursued him toward the house and went inside to rescue the family. That prevented a standoff with hostages, he said.
Deputies themselves soon backed out of the house, establishing a perimeter around the house, where they believed Alexander had taken refuge, Cavanaugh said.
But it turned out he was in the backyard, which is enclosed by a wooden fence, Cavanaugh said.
The SWAT team, which consists of deputies and police officers from Amherst, Avon, LaGrange, Wellington and Vermilion, was called in and was in the process of surrounding the house when a member of the team encountered Alexander in the backyard.
“There was a confrontation between the two, and shots rang out,” Cavanaugh said.
Both Cavanaugh and Lorain police Lt. Mark Carpentiere, who has been brought in to conduct the investigation into the shooting, declined to confirm the identity of the officer who shot Alexander.
But LaGrange Mayor Kim Strauss confirmed that a member of the LaGrange Police Department who serves on the SWAT team has been placed on paid administrative leave. That officer, Wayne Ramsey, declined to comment Monday.
Cavanaugh and Carpentiere said they could not say exactly what happened in the backyard that led to Alexander being shot.
“I’ve still got to talk to everybody and put together all those pieces yet,” Carpentiere said.
County Coroner Stephen Evans said an autopsy was conducted Monday and that Alexander had been shot at least twice, once in the chest and once in the stomach. He said the body had multiple gunshots wounds.
Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or firstname.lastname@example.org.