Wednesday, October 18, 2017 Elyria 53°

Cops and Courts

Roommate tells police gun that fatally shot Brandon Smith went off while falling


AVON – Ryan Raider allegedly shot his roommate Brandon Smith while Smith was lying in bed with his girlfriend, according to a search warrant filed Tuesday in Lorain County Court of Common Pleas.

Smith’s girlfriend, Emily Markel, told police that they had been out drinking earlier in the evening, and Smith and Raider had been playing with firearms when they returned home. She said when she and Smith went to bed, Raider continued playing with a firearm that later fired a shot into Smith’s head, according to the search warrant.

Raider, who was questioned after the incident, told police that the gun discharged when he dropped it, but he later changed his story to say that the gun was about to fall and he caught it when it went off. Police said Raider appeared to be intoxicated, but he did not grant police consent to search his residence that night.

Smith was flown to Metro Health Medical Center in Cleveland, where he died after Markel called 911 at 3:16 a.m. Saturday. Raider was arrested and charged with reckless homicide and having weapons while intoxicated.

Police indicated that the semi-automatic pistol that Smith was shot with was not the only weapon in the house.

Police said there were four other firearms, including three assault-style rifles. Police found those firearms, as well as ammunition and magazines in a gun safe in the bedroom. A .40-caliber magazine was found on the bedroom floor, and a .40-caliber casing was found on the bed. Rounds were also found kitchen floor, according to the search warrant.

Police requested to search the home, as well as a test of Raider’s blood for alcohol content on Saturday.

Raider, who was arraigned Tuesday at Avon Lake Municipal Court, pleaded not guilty to the charges during a video arraignment. A $500,000 cash or surety bond was set, and a pre-trial hearing was set for 11 a.m. Thursday.

Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or Follow her on Twitter @ChelseaMillerCT.

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