Police: East Toledo murder could be self-defense

Police: East Toledo murder could be self-defense
Dale DeLauter (Source: WTOL)
Dale DeLauter (Source: WTOL)

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Friends say a man was shot to death trying to protect himself, his girlfriend and his home, but Toledo police are not treating it as a murder.

Right now, detectives are investigating the fatal shooting as a case of self-defense. Police say a fight broke out in front of a bowling alley on Starr Avenue and ended up moving across the street where a man was shot and killed.

Bullet holes in the front door of the victim's house on the 1500 block of Starr Avenue mark what happened there early Saturday morning.

Friends are still in disbelief, including Kelley Laskey.

"He was your all around buddy. We loved him and can't say enough about him," said Laskey.

Dale DeLauter, 62, a father and grandfather, was gunned down on his porch after friends say patrons leaving the bowling alley were making remarks about his girlfriend as the couple returned home.

"This unfortunate situation for him to have lost his life die to protecting himself and his girlfriend is terrible," said Laskey.

Police aren't giving a lot of details at this point, since it is an ongoing investigation, but they do say they know who fired the shots that killed DeLauter.

"We know who shot Mr. DeLauter. He's been interviewed. He's been released. Right now, at this point the decision has been made based on the preliminary evidence we have and the statements that have been made not to press charges in this case right now. Now, that does not mean charges will not be pressed forthcoming," said Lt. Joe Heffernan.

As police work to gather more evidence, his friends here at his second home, Pete's Hot Dog, remain completely heartbroken.

"He'll be greatly missed down here by us. I know there are a lot of sad and angry people out there because of this. It's very sad, you don't know how to feel 'cause he was just a good guy," said Laskey.

The prosecutor's office is working on the case as detectives at TPD continue to investigate.

It will be up to the prosecutor's office to decide what charges, if any, the shooter will face.

If it's determined the shooter acted in self-defense, he will more than likely not face a murder charge.

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