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Fairborn man dies in village

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At 7:50 a.m. on Sunday morning, Jan. 29, police responded to a scene along the bike path, where the victim of an apparent suicide was found by a passing jogger. Police found the body of Shane West, 56, at the southern entrance to the Women’s Park with a gunshot wound to his chest. The Greene County Coroner estimated that he had died between 2 and 4 a.m. that morning.

According to Police Chief John Grote on Monday, police found a .38 caliber gun at the scene and multiple notes in West’s pockets and a zip drive in his vehicle, which had been parked in the Village municipal parking lot on Corry Street behind Subway. The notes contained messages about his hopelessness and intentions to harm himself. The zip drive also contained instructions requesting that authorities contact Jeanna and Mark Breza, a couple in the village who worked for the Little Art Theatre, which he patronized regularly.

West did not have family in the area but he had relatives in Florida, according to Yellow Springs Police Officer Naomi Penrod, who is investigating the incident.

Jeanna Breza remembered West from his patronage of the theater. He came to the theater most Saturday nights for over a decade, usually ordering a raspberry soda and two chocolate stars, Breza said in an interview on Monday.

“He was always friendly and up for a laugh,” she said.

West also frequented the Sunrise Café and Peach’s Grill and often sat on the bench in front of Tom’s Market. According to Breza, West formerly worked as an engineer at Wright Patterson Air Force Base and was currently out of work.

On Sunday between 8 and 10 a.m., police closed the bike path and the stretch of Corry Street from the Glen Helen parking lot to Grinnell Road, to allow a flow of emergency vehicles and personnel. According to Grote, a complete investigation of the incident is ongoing.


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