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Authorities in Portage Co. arrest shooting suspect after searching wooded, booby-trapped property for hours

Teams used air support, thermal imaging, night vision to locate suspect
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Posted at 4:11 PM, Aug 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-17 16:11:41-04

PORTAGE COUNTY, Ohio — The Portage County Sheriff’s Deputies searched for hours in Randolph Township for a shooting suspect off of Fairground Road, finally arresting him without incident around 10:15 p.m. Tuesday, according to authorities.

Deputies received a call around 4:30 p.m. for a man in the street with a gunshot wound. A passerby found the victim in a ditch on Fairgrounds Road, according to a news release from the Portage County Sheriff's Office. The man was transported by ambulance to a local hospital.

Nearby resident Bradford Bragg said his neighbor made that call to 911.

“She said she was driving down the road and she saw a gentleman laying down the road with blood all over him,” said Bragg. “She put him in the passenger seat in her car and called 911.”

4-H members setting up for next week’s fair were asked to leave the premises for their safety.

While conducting an investigation, deputies located the suspect, a 36-year-old man who resided at an address where the victim was located. Deputies were advised the suspect had concealed booby traps throughout his property, including 12-foot holes and explosives, the release states.

Portage County Sheriff Deputies, OSHP, Portage County SWAT team members and the Alliance SRT team responded to Randolph Township in reference to a barricaded subject who had shot someone, the release states. The OSHP's SRT Team provided air support and a robot.

The property had limited access and was surrounded by woods, officials said. A search warrant was obtained, and teams cleared all structures and buildings on the property.

During this time, the OSHP air support used thermal imaging to see the suspect in a wooded area behind the property, the release states. He was seen crawling and running through the property as SWAT and SRT teams closed in.

A short time later, night vision was used to find the man in a tree.

He was taken into custody without incident and transported to Portage County Jail.

Sheriff Bruce Zuchowski said the shooting victim is recovering at the hospital and is conscious.

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