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Man shot and killed in Boardman home invasion

Published: Wed, October 31, 2012 @ 12:08 a.m.


By Ashley Luthern



Barbara Mruczek came home to find her 22-year-old son, Robert, on the phone with police — reporting a break-in he witnessed and the gunshot he heard 30 seconds later.

“My son noticed a man pick up a rock or something and smash it through the back door. When he saw that, he called police and then heard a gunshot,” she said, adding that police arrived swiftly before her son even finished describing what happened.

The back of the Mruczek home off Westport Circle faces the back of 5011 Lockwood Blvd., where police believe the homeowner shot the man breaking into his home about 3:15 p.m. Tuesday.

A second man was with the alleged home invader and appeared to be waiting in a green Dodge car, police said.

The second man “was trying to leave the scene when a school bus blocked his exit, so he bailed out of the car through the back yard,” said Boardman police Capt. Donald Hawkins.

He was apprehended in Mruczek’s rear yard.

“I was surprised because this is a very quiet neighborhood,” Mruczek said.

She said her family occasionally would say hello to the homeowner, whom she also described as “quiet.”

Police said they had identified all three men, but declined to release their names Tuesday night. Mahoning County Auditor Office’s records list Kevin Neal as the owner of the Lockwood Boulevard home.

“The homeowner confronted [the alleged home invader] in the kitchen,” Hawkins said of the deceased man. “... I don’t know how many shots, I can just tell you he’s deceased.”

Police took both the homeowner and the driver into custody for questioning.

The homeowner initially declined to let police search the home.

After the homeowner retained Atty. J. Gerald Ingram, he gave permission for police to go through the house without a search warrant. Police believe weapons were in the home. The Mahoning County offices of coroner and prosecutor were contacted.

When asked if the event was random, Hawkins said: “I can’t say that.”

Police later said it appears the homeowner and home invader knew one another.

Lisa and Bill Slipkovich live across the street on Lockwood Boulevard. Their 16-year-old son, Billy, was getting off of the school bus that blocked the driver from leaving the scene.

Lisa saw Billy exit the bus at the same time police cruisers arrived.

“I heard the cops yelling, ‘Get down’” to the fleeing suspect, she said. “I made my son get up the driveway and onto the porch.”

Lisa said she looked across the street and saw her neighbor meet police in the garage doorway with his hands up, acting calm.

About two years ago, the Slipkovich home was burglarized once and another break-in was attempted. Lisa said police caught those responsible.

Because of her experience, Lisa said she pays closer attention to her surroundings. On Tuesday, she noticed a green Dodge car on Lockwood Boulevard driving slowly, which she attributed to caution for deer crossing or perhaps the driver was looking at the cars for sale in her neighbor’s driveway.

“I was suspicious when it was about eight times back and forth really slow. It did make me nervous,” she said.


1lee(544 comments)posted 3 years ago

You break into my house and I will terminate your rights.

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2janmarsolhoh(11 comments)posted 3 years ago

I agree with lee!!! If someone breaks into my house, I have no idea their intentions other than they are not good ones. I will NOT wait to find out if they are there to steal, kidnap, beat or rape, whatever. They will not get that chance to show me. I will use MY right to defend myself and my family.

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3harleydog(243 comments)posted 3 years ago

amen to the last two posts.

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4islandgrump(59 comments)posted 3 years ago

If the homeowner was within his rights, he should be commended. No one wants to take a life I would hope. But to protect ones life and limb is another story.

Burglars take note. People want to be safe in their homes.

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5UsuallyBlunt(105 comments)posted 3 years ago

"Settle down Francis" (quote from Stripes).
This may have been something other than a straight home invasion/burglery! The shootee and the shooter appear to have been acquaintances...could have been a drug deal gone bad!

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6ytownsteelman(674 comments)posted 3 years ago

If Hulkster is being sarcastic then he is only clever by half. If he truly believes that then perhaps he needs to move to somewhere like California where they truly think that way. Here in the MV we still believe in private property rights.

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7NoBS(2389 comments)posted 3 years ago

First, Hulkster, aka Stan, has a long history of sarcasm. Although I do agree that this attempt falls short.

Second, Ohio has the Castle Doctrine. That means, in a nutshell, that you don't have to wait for someone who's broken into your home to show they are up to no good, before you plug them. The fact that they are in your home, uninvited, means you can legally assume they mean you harm, and defend yourself accordingly.

Also, the TV News this morning is giving names, and is saying the homeowner, the intruder, and the getaway driver all knew each other. Check your favorite TV News website.

I'm going to watch this story, to see what happens to the homeowner. He's going to find himself in court, defending his actions. If things are as they seem right now, he'll probably be acquitted of doing anything wrong, but it will be interesting to watch. And then, he'll be open to civil lawsuits from next of kin and so on. That too will be interesting to see how it plays out.

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8Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 3 years ago

This does not appear to be true

“I was surprised because this is a very quiet neighborhood,” Mruczek said.

Please get your heads out of the sand

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9endthismess(422 comments)posted 3 years ago

Agree with NoBS....Castle Doctrine carries much weight here,....whether these ppl all knew each other or not....best believe one thing...this is exactly why I have a CCW.....and it won't take me long to get to "Betty"....should some a___ nut h____ decide they just must break in, then they get to meet "Betty" in person, no doubt about it.

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10CantStandYa(222 comments)posted 3 years ago

and the homeowner does not.

Yet alot of you automatically think the worst of him. Shame on you. Do some damn research before you post garbage.

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11Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 3 years ago


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12twin(18 comments)posted 3 years ago

Give the homeowner a medal. Maybe the dirt bags will stop breaking into homes. For you dummies who believe this wasn't right to shot him I hope they break into your home next time.

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13DwightK(1458 comments)posted 3 years ago

I'm thinking that if you don't go around breaking into homes your chances of being shot by an angry, frightened homeowner are considerably reduced.

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14CCW_Inst_001(2 comments)posted 3 years ago

Even though the actors involved knew each other, that STILL does not excuse the forcible entry. Castle Doctrine will come into play, provided all the information we are being fed is correct. With that said, and seeing how the liberal media treat advocates of the Second Amendment. Any CCW permit holder (or homeowner) should carry an insurance rider policy to cover just this type of incident.

The homeowner did the right thing by contacting an Atty before allowing the home to be searched.

No sane person wants to take a life, but if its me or them, well, it's going to be them. The moral is that it's better to be tried by 12 Jurors, than carried by 6 Paul-bearers. You just have to be damn sure you took the correct course of action, because you WILL have to prove it.

This will be interesting to see how it plays out.

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15CCW_Inst_001(2 comments)posted 3 years ago

Looks like the homeowner was dead right. He did everything by the book, and has it documented. Smart guy! Covered his butt, and saved his own life. Good Job!! If only more people would pay attention to this.

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16DSquared(1564 comments)posted 3 years ago

I'd like to thank the homeowner for saving the taxpayers a ton of money. No jail, free food, free TV, free internet porn, free gym time, free attorneys, and 30 to 40 years of us paying for it all.

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