By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN
BG Independent News
It was a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Bowling Green Police Division gets multiple calls a year about drunk college students wandering into the wrong homes after a night of drinking. Some are found sleeping on couches by the homeowners the next morning.
But in this case, the homeowner was frightened in the middle of the night, was armed with a handgun, and shot the intoxicated intruder three times.
Last year, at 1:05 in the morning on Dec. 22, police received a call from a resident in the 100 block of Liberty Street, Bowling Green, who reported two men had broken into his home and he shot to defend himself.
Last week, a Wood County Grand Jury indicted Ty Krill, 21, of 610 N. Main St., Bowling Green, for trespassing in a habitation. The other man accompanying Krill on that night, Wade Sutton, 22, of Waterville, was not indicted.
According to the police reports, the Liberty Street resident heard a noise at his front door, then at a side window. He grabbed a flashlight and his 9mm semi-automatic handgun, and headed downstairs. He was headed for his phone in the den, since he only has two land-lines in his home.
There, in the living room, he encountered Krill. There are conflicting stories in the police reports about the words exchanged, but the homeowner said the intruder came running at him. The homeowner shot Krill twice in the arm, then once in the lower back when Krill turned. He said he did not shoot at Sutton, who was standing with his arms raised.
Both intruders ran from the home. When police arrived, they found blood on the steps by the back door, on the sidewalk and on the lawn. Officers followed the blood trail toward the rear of the property, over a fence and on toward West Evers Street.
Police found Krill walking eastbound in the 100 block of West Evers Street near North Main Street. According to the police reports, Krill appeared to be highly intoxicated and his clothes were covered with “a large amount of blood.”
Bowling Green Fire Division’s EMS responded and transported Krill to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo. Hospital medical staff said Krill had been shot three times, with one round striking him in the right elbow area, one hitting in the right arm and passing through his body, and one striking him in the lower left back, above his buttocks. Hospital staff confirmed that Krill was “extremely intoxicated.”
As police were piecing together the events that led up to the shooting, they spoke with Krill’s parents and friends, who said Krill started his evening with friends at a house two doors down from the Liberty Street home he walked into around 1 a.m.
In reviewing the online photograph of the home of Krill’s friends on Liberty Street, police found it to be “substantially similar in appearance” to the home two doors down that was invaded.
The day after the incident, police received a call from a local attorney who said he was representing the unidentified man who was with Krill when he was shot. A couple days later, Wade Sutton and his attorney came to the police station.
Sutton said his evening also started at a friend’s home on Liberty Street, then progressed to the bars downtown. Sutton said he did not know Krill until that evening, though they had mutual friends at the Liberty Street house. After leaving the bars, Sutton said the two of them got picked up by a friend’s girlfriend and brought back to Liberty Street. Downtown camera footage showed the men getting in a vehicle in a city parking lot off Court Street.
Sutton told police after they were picked up downtown, they had a hard time locating Liberty Street on Google maps. They found the street, and then the car they arrived in earlier that evening – not realizing it wasn’t parked in front of the home where their friends live, he said.
So the pair walked up to the wrong home on Liberty, and found the front door locked. Sutton said he and Krill were angry that their friends had locked them out. The men then walked around to the back of the house, with Sutton stopping to knock on a side window to try to rouse their sleeping friends.
Sutton said Krill found the back door to be unlocked and went inside. The homeowner told police that he always locks his doors, but there was no sign of forced entry. Sutton said he was still at the back door when he saw a man with a flashlight and heard someone scream “Freeze. Don’t move.”
Sutton told police that he froze, believing the man to have a gun. He then heard popping noises and saw Krill running toward him at the door. Both men took off in different directions.
The police reports note that Krill did not remember much of the evening, and was distraught when he was told that he had entered the wrong house. Krill reportedly told police, “I don’t blame him for what he did,” about the homeowner who shot him.
And the homeowner told police he was having difficulty with the situation, saying it was “way outside of anything I have ever had to do in my life, and I’m struggling with it.”
“I’m worried because I’m not the kind of person that wants to hurt someone else, but I was scared,” the homeowner said.