TRENTON, Ohio — Police have identified two women believed to have been killed by a man who involved officers in an hours-long standoff in southwest Ohio. CBS affiliate WKRG reports that James Geran, 45, is a suspect in the deaths of 27-year-old Megan Motter and 63-year-old Sharon McCleary.
According to the station, Motter's body was found with a gunshot wound to the head on Wednesday morning. Deputies then went to an apartment looking for Geran as part of their investigation. Sheriff Richard K. Jones told the station that when deputies arrived when they arrived Geran fired shots at them and they fired three shots back. He said negotiators spoke with Geran in the hopes of trying to get him to release the hostages, who were his girlfriend, her sister, and their mother, Sharon McCleary.
Sheriff Jones said Geran allowed his girlfriend's sister to leave and later agreed to surrender and allowed his girlfriend to leave the apartment. But Jones said Geran claimed he wanted to smoke a cigarette first.
"At that point he immediately pushed the door closed. We tried to make entry at that time, then we heard gunfire. It appeared there was two shots fired immediately as we were trying to make entry," Jones said.
WKRG reports that Sharon McCleary was found shot in the head in the apartment. She was sitting in a chair where her family said she spent most of her time because she was blind and had health problems.
According to the Associated Press, Geran also turned the gun on himself, but was hospitalized and is expected to survive.
"I still don't understand why he shot her. He was about to surrender. From what I was told he was walking out the door," said Richard McCleary, Sharon's son.
Richard said McCleary's two daughters and Geran were living with his mother and that she didn't have any control over who was staying in her house.
"She was a good lady. Good lady. Loved everybody. You know, let these fools in her house. Bad idea but she couldn't do anything about that. She was helpless," Richard said.
Sheriff Jones said he believes he knows the motive for the shootings but wouldn't discuss it at a news conference Thursday. Sharon McCleary's family members said Geran and his sister used methamphetamine and crack cocaine.
"He's big into drugs and from what I understand they had just gotten a fresh supply that night," Richard said.
Geran served time in prison for a charge of gross sexual imposition in the 1990s in Butler County. He was released from prison in March 2016 after serving time for break-ins and stealing guns in Clermont County.
Police have yet to file charges.