October 1, 2014

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Listen: Girlfriend of fatally shot man tells dispatchers roommate was ‘messing with a gun’

Ryan Raider

Ryan Raider

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AVON — The girlfriend of Brandon Smith, the man who police said was fatally shot by his roommate Saturday night, frantically pleaded with a 911 dispatcher to send rescue crews during the nearly eight-minute-long phone call.

She said Smith, 29, and his roommate Ryan Raider, 25, who has been charged with Smith’s death, were drinking that night and “messing with a gun” when it went off, striking Smith.

“I don’t think he thought the gun was loaded. He was messing around with it,” she said, crying during the call to 911.

A news release from the Avon Police Department indicated that alcohol may have played a factor in the shooting, but Police Chief Richard Bosley would not confirm whether Raider or Smith was intoxicated, citing a pending investigation.

Bosley said the two were drinking at a local bar earlier that evening.

Police were called at 3:16 a.m. Saturday by Smith’s girlfriend and arrived at the home, 38532 French Creek Road, at 3:24 a.m.

During the phone call, the woman asks how long it will be until rescue crews arrive, telling the dispatcher that Smith’s heart is still beating.

“There is an officer here, but there’s no f—ing ambulance here. We need the ambulance. We need the ambulance. What the f—?” she screams into the phone after speaking with the dispatcher for seven minutes.

Avon fire Capt. Tim Barrett said the Fire Department was dispatched to the home at 3:19 a.m. but had to wait for police to stage the area because of the involvement of a firearm. Avon Fire Department paramedics arrived at 3:25 a.m. and transferred Smith to Avon Emergency Care Center.

Smith later was flown to Metro Health Medical Center in Cleveland, where he was pronounced dead.

According to police, Smith had a gunshot wound to the head, and Raider was leaning over the victim to attempt to control the bleeding. Both men were found in a bedroom in the home.

Raider was arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter, a third-degree felony, and having weapons while intoxicated. He was being held at Lorain County Jail until his arraignment at 8 a.m. today at Avon Lake Municipal Court.

Bosley said Raider has not been previously charged for any weapon-related incidents in the city. Bosley said police were called for an incident in January involving Raider in which people were shooting in the area of Schwartz Road, but Raider had permission to shoot in the area and he was not charged.

Other weapons were found in Smith and Raider’s residence, but Bosley could not say what exactly was found at the scene. He said Smith was shot with a 9 mm pistol.

On Monday, the doors to the home of Smith and Raider were padlocked shut, and a bloody handprint was left on the door.

Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or cmiller@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @ChelseaMillerCT.


  • modus

    what a tragedy for all involved….

  • LarryEWells

    The tragedy of mixing guns with alcohol!! While the idiots in Columbus passed a law to allow guns in bars!! When will people learn that guns are not toys?

    • Joe Smith

      Larry
      That law does not allow someone to drink in a bar while possessing a gun and no law against it will stop anybody from doing so law or not as proved above, it designed so the honest citizen who is out to dinner at a Fridays for example can have dinner without drinking and not have to be defenseless just because other people are there to consume alcohol or leave his/her gun in the car for a criminal to steal and use in a crime or to kill. The criminal will do so law or not so why stop the honest decent person from doing so?

      • Bob Sweatt

        Well said.

        • Joe Smith

          It’s just the truth , but thank you

  • Mindy Molzan

    This whole situation is just tragic. However, I do hope that the dispatcher who answered this call was somehow disciplined for his lack of response to this hysterical girl. She begged him to say something to her because she was scared and upset having just witnessed her boyfriend being shot and she is met with nothing but silence from him, and that is despicable and heartbreaking. Dispatchers are our line of connection and although they do not get paid to be therapists, there is some responsibility on their part to be compassionate and helpful and maintain control of a situation before emergency response units can get to a scene. I am completely disgusted by the lack of communication, compassion, response and overall disregard for this horrific ordeal that this girl is going through watching her friend (who just shot his best friend) take care of her boyfriend who is dying.