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‘I swear to God, I heard someone unload a clip out on the street,’ neighbor tells 911 after Garfield Heights shooting

September 6, 2018

‘I swear to God, I heard someone unload a clip out on the street,’ neighbor tells 911 after Garfield Heights shooting

GARFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio -- A neighbor on East 86th Street in Garfield Heights was watching television with his family at about 9:40 p.m. on Wednesday evening when he heard the gunshots outside.

“I swear to God, I heard someone unload a clip out on the street,” the caller told a 911 dispatcher. “It sounded like at least nine.” 

When asked if anyone was hurt, the caller said he had not yet looked outside.

“It didn’t sound like fireworks,” he said. “I shoot and it sounds to me kind of like a 9mm.”

Those gunshots killed a teenage boy and a 19-year-old woman who died at the hands of their mother’s abusive boyfriend, Garfield Heights police said Thursday.

The quality of the call breaks up at the end, but the caller seems to apologize in case he was wrong in identifying the sounds as shots fired.

“But it had to be (gunshots),” he said. 

Police arrived at the home in the 4800 block of East 86th Street about four minutes later, according to the incident report. 

Officers found two teenagers laying face down in the driveway and brought them to a safer area in a neighbor’s yard, police say. The children, 17-year old Manuel Lopez, Jr. and 19-year-old Giselle Lopez, died as a result of being shot by their mother’s live-in boyfriend, Matthew Nicholson. 

Nicholson was charged with murder and domestic violence, Garfield Heights police said Thursday at a press conference. 

The 911 caller was incorrect in identifying the particular kind of weapon used since police say Nicholson used a .45 caliber handgun.

To comment on this story, visit Thursday’s crime and courts comment section.

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