Thomas Galizia Obituary – We’re learning more about the circumstances surrounding Thursday’s mobile home park shooting in Lake County that left four people dead, including the suspect. Mentor officials held a press conference Friday morning as they provided a timeline of what happened, while also identifying those who died. Police say the situation started around 4:30 p.m. as Mentor officers responded to a 911 call for shots fired at the Mentor Green Mobile Estates in the 7100 block of Mentor Avenue.
“The first officer on scene found a 62-year-old female deceased in the roadway, later identified as the property manager, Laura Colon,” authorities announced in a press release. The second officer at the scene found a man nearby who was shot in the stomach. “The officer pulled him to safety, performed CPR and then carried him approximately 60 yards to safety from where he was transported to Cleveland Clinic Mentor Hospital.”
That man, identified as 63-year-old Terrance Mathis Sr., later died from his injuries. A third victim, 81-year-old Thomas Galizia, was found dead at the scene when more officers arrived. A fourth victim, 63-year-old Charles Skala, was found in his home with a gunshot wound to the shoulder and right thigh. He was escorted out by officers and taken to the hospital where he remains in stable condition.
“While attending to the victims, the four officers were fired upon by the suspect from his mobile home unit,” police said. “The officers took cover and did not return fire. The four officers then formed a combat rescue team and were able to remove the first victim, Laura Colon, from the scene.” Neighboring residents were evacuated for their safety while additional units – including three different SWAT teams – arrived to assist at the scene.
“According to witnesses, the suspect, identified as Jason Norris, 47, was involved in an altercation with the property manager and was facing an eviction notice,” according to a press release. “Norris brandished two handguns and opened fire on the property manager as well as three other victims who came to her assistance. Norris then retreated to his unit prior to the arrival of Mentor Police.”
The Mentor Police Hostage Negotiation Team attempted to make contact with Norris throughout the evening without success. Then around 8:15 p.m., a tactical drone was deployed into his unit “where he was observed with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. ”Lake County SWAT entered and secured the unit, confirming Norris was dead.
“In addition to the two handguns, a mounted long-rifle, as well as numerous ammunition magazines, were found inside the unit.” All residents were able to return home by approximately 5 a.m. Friday. The Mentor Senior Center had been used as a shelter for the displaced residents.
The scene remains under investigation by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
“The City of Mentor extends its condolences to the families and friends of the victims of this senseless tragedy.”