Coroner says child shot his brother then himself

SSU Sports Information

June 27, 2013

Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

Preliminary autopsies performed by Franklin County Coroner Jan Gorniak apparently show that 12-year-old Austin Wiseman, shot his half brother, 9-year-old Blake Campbell, before shooting himself Wednesday in their grandparents’ home in Jackson, Ohio.

While no one could be reached at the Jackson County Coroner’s Office, the Columbus Dispatch was citing Jackson County Coroner Gregory Hawker Thursday when it reported that Blake Campbell was shot in the head and died right away. Hawker apparently told the Dispatch that after shooting his brother from a few feet away, Austin Wiseman put the gun under his chin and shot himself.

The Daily Times reported early Thursday that a .44 caliber handgun was recovered, but Hawker reportedly said there were other weapons present. The .44 was the only one of the weapons that was loaded, however. It has also not been determined that that was the weapon that fired the fatal shots.

According to the Dispatch it is still unknown whether Campbell’s death was an accident, and the coroner won’t have a conclusion on that issue until the investigation and autopsy are complete in about six weeks.

Jackson Police Chief Carl Eisnaugle says the investigation surrounding the deaths does not include a search for any other persons who might have been directly connected to those shootings.

Eisnaugle said the boys were alone in an upstairs bedroom when the shootings occurred, and when the grandparents came home, the grandfather reportedly went upstairs and discovered the bodies.

The Jackson City Police Department, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department and multiple agents from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI&I) were at the scene for nearly nine hours Wednesday, collecting evidence in connection with the investigation. Evidence was sent to the Ohio BCI&I for processing and the bodies of the two boys were sent to the Franklin County Coroner’s Office for autopsies.

“Although the investigation is continuing, Jackson Police are not searching at this time for any other persons who might have been directly connected to the incident,” Eisnaugle said.

The Dispatch identifies the mother of the boys as Kelly Lenoir Harris, but that has not been confirmed.

“Our community is deeply saddened by this tragedy and our sympathies go out to all those who have been affected,” Eisnaugle said.

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at flewis@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.