Ohio: Campbell cops call homicide justified

Campbell, Ohio

From the Youngstown Vindicator of December 15, 2007

Campbell cops call homicide justified

Police do not plan to charge Nicholas Galanses in the Wednesday night shooting death of Ronald G. Harrison II.

“I discussed it with Law Director Mark Kolmacic, and unless something new comes up, we’re looking at it as a justifiable homicide,” Detective Sgt. Gus Nicolaou said Friday.

Kolmacic said a person may defend himself if he believes he is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm. The duty to retreat does not apply if a person is in his home, he said.

“We’re taking a close look” at the results of a breath test that showed Galanses had a blood alcohol level of .156. That is above the legal limit of .08 to drive a vehicle, but there is no law against drinking in one’s own home, Kolmacic said.

Further, the law director said, there is nothing in the police reports to indicate his alcohol level caused any reckless behavior.

Galanses, 40, shot Harrison three times shortly after 9 p.m. Wednesday in his (Galanses’) garage, which is attached to his home in the 300 Block of Porter Ave.

Harrison, 19, of Bright Avenue, was hit in the stomach, the right arm between his wrist and elbow, and in the back just below his left shoulder blade, but at an angle indicating he was turning when the bullet struck, Nicolaou said.

Nicolaou said Harrison, whom Galanses said was raising a pistol at him, was shot at a distance of 5 to 10 feet, judging from where Harrison’s weapon, which turned out to be a Daisy air pellet gun, was found.

Harrison, who was found lying in the street in front of 332 Porter, was wearing a nylon stocking cap over his head and face, according to the police report.

“It’s definite he went to rob. He had stolen the pellet gun from a friend’s house about an hour earlier,” Nicolaou said of Harrison.

The Mahoning County Coroner’s report on the shooting contained no new details, and said the circumstances surrounding the homicide are pending investigation. Harrison’s body was sent to Cleveland to be autopsied.

The night of the shooting, Galanses told police he went to the garage door after the front door bell rang and asked, “Who’s out there?”

On his way to the garage door, Galanses, who said he never answers his front door, picked up his .357 magnum revolver from his dining room hutch.

When he opened the door to the attached garage, he saw a man run into the garage from the front porch side of the driveway, raise a black handgun toward him and yell, “Give me the money …!”

Galanses, standing halfway inside the dining room and halfway in the garage, said he feared he was going to be shot. He raised the .357 magnum and fired several shots at the intruder.

If the shooting is ruled a justifiable homicide, it will be the first in the area since October 2005, when Walter Swita used a German Luger 9 mm pistol to shoot an intruder in the head and chest in the living room of Swita’s home on South Avenue.

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