September 20, 2014

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Attorney: Alleged Avon shooter in jail on ‘terrorists’ bond

Ryan Raider sits at his preliminary hearing with his attorney,  Ross Haffey, on Thursday in Avon Lake Municipal Court. RYAN RAIDER/CHRONICLE

Ryan Raider sits at his preliminary hearing with his attorney, Ross Haffey, on Thursday in Avon Lake Municipal Court. RYAN RAIDER/CHRONICLE

AVON LAKE — Accused shooter Ryan Raider returned to Lorain County Jail on Thursday after an Avon Lake Municipal Court judge refused to lower his bond.

Raider’s attorney, Ross Haffey, asked Judge Darrel Bilancini to lower Raider’s bond because he said the shooting was accidental. He said the $500,000 bond is an amount that usually is reserved for “terrorists.”

Prosecutor Richard Cray said Raider’s safety and the safety of others could be in danger if he is released. He said Raider is not on suicide watch in jail, but he is taking medicine.

Raider has been in jail since Saturday when he was arrested and charged with reckless homicide and having weapons while intoxicated. Police said Raider was holding the weapon that fired a shot into his roommate Brandon Smith’s head.

Smith was taken to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, where he later died.

On Thursday, Bilancini ruled that there was enough evidence to send the case to a Lorain County grand jury for review.

Avon police Detective Eric Bergen testified during the preliminary hearing that Raider confessed to accidentally shooting Smith when he tried to catch the gun, which he dropped near Smith’s bed. Raider originally told police that the gun discharged when it fell to the ground, but he later changed his story, according to a search warrant.

Haffey questioned Bergen about what was written in the police report on the incident, contending that the statement police said Raider made on holding the gun when it went off was not in the report.

“There is a written report that I read, and I did not see that statement in the report. For some reason, I haven’t gotten a report. They haven’t given it to me,” he said. “I don’t want it changing between now and the time I get it.”

Bergen said the report is part of an ongoing investigation, and he did not recall exactly what was written in it. He reiterated that the statement came from Raider, who he said admitted to holding the gun when it went off.

Smith’s girlfriend, Emily Markel, said Smith and Raider were playing with firearms in the kitchen, but she and Smith went to bed. She said Raider then came into the bedroom with a firearm while she and Smith were lying in bed, and the gun went off.

Markel said the guns are not usually loaded, and it was strange that Raider came into the bedroom.

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


  • Abbie

    Looking at it from the vicitm’s and the witness’ point of view: If that was not a ‘terrorist-like’ attack, then what is?

  • Bob Sweatt

    There is more to this story then what is being told. There is no reason why the story should have changed unless someone is lying. And the fact that the girlfriend said, “it was strange that Raider came into the bedroom” should tell you something more is going on here.

    But that is just my opinion..

  • GuessWho

    Ryan belongs behind bars. Brandon was a VERY well-liked person. His kindness has cost him his life – befriending and trying to help out this troubled young man. This senseless act has devastated a family and left Brandon’s son fatherless. Shooting yourself in the foot is an accident; shooting your friend in the head….is not.

  • kmzi

    One should NOT play with guns. Guns are for business of violence. If you point a gun, be ready to use it, not play with it.

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