(Posted Jan. 24, 2018)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Two people died in a shootout that took place Jan. 22 in London during what law enforcement officials believe was a home invasion.
The London Police Department and the Madison County Coroner’s Office are investigating the incident as a homicide. As of press time on Jan. 23, no charges had been filed.
“We need to process some evidence and make sure we have a solid charge before we go forward,” said London Police Chief Glenn Nicol.
The Madison County Sheriff’s Office, Madison County Prosecutor’s Office, and agents from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation are assisting with the investigation.
At 11:29 p.m. Jan. 22, the police were dispatched to a report of shots fired at an apartment complex on Lamplight Court. According to information released by the police department, investigators believe two adult males invaded the home of two other adult males.
“It was apparent that (the suspects) weren’t invited in, but they still entered the apartment, and that’s where the initial gunfire exchange began,” Nicol said, confirming that all four individuals were armed.
The gunfire continued outside the apartment. One resident died at the scene, and the other was transported to a hospital. One suspect died after being transported to a hospital. The second suspect fled the scene.
The resident who died was William M. Benson, 28. A neighbor transported the other resident, Zachary A. Edmond, 28, to Madison Health in London. Edmond had suffered a gunshot wound. He was transferred to Ohio State University Medical Center and, as of press time, was in stable condition.
The suspect who died was Justin G. Coffey, 24, whose last known address was in London. Initially, Madison County EMS transported Coffey to Madison Health, after which he was transferred to Grant Hospital where he died.
The second suspect reportedly was treated for gunshot wounds at a hospital in Springfield, then transferred to a hospital in Dayton, Nicol said. He said the suspect’s name was not released because an investigation was still in progress and charges had not been filed.
When asked if drugs were involved in the incident, Nicol said, “There were some drugs found in the apartment. We really can’t say yet if that’s a motive or not.”
The last homicide to occur in London took place in 2009.