When his daughter’s ex-boyfriend attempted to break down the door, a protective father fatally shot the intruder, appealing to the “Stand Your Ground” law. A grand jury has since announced whether the father will face criminal charges after seeing video footage of the shooting, and the decision has left citizens torn.
Viewers were shocked when graphic video footage was released, showing a young man, identified as 22-year-old James Rayl, being shot to death after trying to force his way into a home. However, many are torn after a grand jury announced its decision regarding the shooter, who claims he was defending his family from the failed intruder.
Video footage from a Ring doorbell camera captured the moment Rayl died from multiple gunshot wounds in front of the house his ex-girlfriend, Allyson Duckro, shared with her family. The young man was captured trying to open the front door of the Ohio home before attempting to break in by slamming his body against it moments before his death.
James Rayl repeatedly hits the wooden door with his shoulder as his ex-girlfriend’s father, Mitch Duckro, warns him, “James, no! Get off my porch” and “I have a gun!” the Daily Mail reported. Still, Rayl continued to slam into the door, breaking the deadbolt and forcing the door open a few inches.
In response, Duckro fires off several shots through the window of the door. Rayl then turns and runs away as three shots ring out, collapsing just around the walkway. He was pronounced dead on the scene.
One month after James Rayl’s death, a grand jury voted 8-1 against indicting the homeowner on charges related to the shooting. Shelby County Sheriff James Frye expected the jury to dismiss the case due to Ohio’s “Stand Your Ground” law and “Castle Doctrine,” which states that a person isn’t required to retreat into their home before firing a gun, WHIO reported.
Footage of separate police interviews with Mitch Duckro and his daughter Allyson were later released as citizens called for answers.
“I shot through the window part of the door, because it was open and he was coming in. I didn’t have no grip,” Mitch Duckro told police, recalling the moment he fatally shot James Rayl. “I was trying to shoot but I couldn’t, I freaked out, finally did it, and he was pushing hard and the gun fired I think three times twice up here and maybe another one I’m pretty sure it was three. They were all through the glass. He had turned and went off the porch, and it’s kind of hard to remember after that.”
The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that the deadbolt was broken off the door and was still in the locked position. They added that the door was also broken from the impact.
“Mitch Duckro indicated he fired the weapon and admitted to discharging it three times. Allyson Duckro said she was familiar with James Rayl, as they dated each other until they broke it off a year and a half earlier,” the report said.
Following his death, James Rayl’s family launched a “Justice for James” campaign, alleging that he was murdered. Rayl’s sister, Jessica, also made a post online blaming Allyson for her brother’s death.
“Mitch shot him in the back and killed him. And we know more than just that Mitchy,” Rayl’s sister wrote. “I hope your days are more miserable than they’ve ever been. You’re a disgusting excuse of a human being along with your daughter.”
Citizens are still torn on whether or not Mitch Duckro used excessive force or was justified in the shooting of James Rayl. Either way, he has been cleared by a grand jury, which didn’t seem to see any injustice in his use of force.
Rayl’s death leaves more questions than answers, and his family hopes to get to the bottom of it. Unfortunately, these questions may never be answered since the case is now closed. But, there is something everyone can learn from this. When someone tells you to get off of their porch, it’s best to listen, not try to force your way in. That’s something we should all agree on.