Crisis team responds to Canfield gun-suicide


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Staff report

CANFIELD

Eviction ends in Death

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Michael P. O’Hara was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in his Canfield home Wednesday morning after members of the Mahoning Valley Crisis Response Team were called when Mahoning County deputies heard a gunshot as they were trying to serve him an eviction notice.

The man who killed himself with a gun Wednesday in his North Palmyra Road home did so after Mahoning County deputy sheriffs tried to serve an eviction notice.

Michael P. O’Hara, 43, was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound after members of the Mahoning Valley Crisis Response Team were called to the 7515 N. Palmyra Road home about 10 a.m. Deputies attempted to serve the notice that morning, Sheriff Jerry Greene said.

No one answered deputies’ knocks at the door, so they went in through a back door. They heard a gunshot and backed out of the house, he said.

Deputies commonly serve eviction notices, Greene said. He said it is unfortunate that a man would be so down on his luck that he would kill himself.

“Unfortunately, sometimes that happens,” Greene said.

However, Cathy Grizinski, associate director of the Help Network of Northeast Ohio, said, “Unfortunately, some people are so overwhelmed that they may find they’ve just lost the ability to cope, and they become very overwhelmed.

“All their coping strategies kind of drift away. ... It’s all hopeless.”

After the gunshot, Greene said deputies requested the crisis response team, which assembled at the parking lot of Mahoning County Career and Technical Center, which was placed on soft lockdown Wednesday.

Police blocked off all roads to the home. The sheriff’s office also used a drone to check the home and feed back images to response team members before the decision was made to enter the home, Greene said.

A SWAT team entered about 1:30 p.m. and found O’Hara dead in an upstairs bedroom. Greene said it appeared that O’Hara had shot himself with a handgun.

General Motors spokeswoman Cheryl McCarron confirmed O’Hara worked in environmental engineering at the Lordstown automotive plant but hadn’t worked for the company since 2015.

GM first cut back worker shifts at the Lordstown plant in 2017.

“We’re really saddened to hear about the death of a former GM employee. We offer our thoughts and prayers to all who are impacted,” McCarron said.

Union sources said he was not a member of the United Automotive Workers Local 1112 union.

O’Hara bought the 7515 N. Palmyra Road home in 2005, according to county auditor records.

The bank foreclosed on the home in December, citing a nearly $102,000 unpaid mortgage, which was canceled last month.

The home was sold at a sheriff’s sale last year.

Grizinski noted only one in every 278 people who consider suicide actually follow through with it.

“No suicidal individual is the same, because they have different circumstances,” she said.

“Whether they are financial stressors, relationship stressors, health stressors – there could be all kinds of things that begin to build up,” Grizinski said. “Many people can be at the point where they think that life is not worth living, and that could be for a variety of different reasons.”

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