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YSPD closes the case on fatal shooting

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The Yellow Springs Police Department officially closed its case this week in the Dec. 13, 2018, fatal shooting of local resident Kenneth Livingston.

The YSPD — which determined after an initial investigation that Livingston, 40, died of an accidental, self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head — had waited in recent months for the final results of a DNA analysis of the gun to conclude the case. The shooting took place on the deck of at a friend’s downtown Yellow Springs apartment about 10:15 p.m. during a small social gathering.

In a letter to the local department dated Sept. 20, 2019, Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Stephen K. Haller wrote that he supported the YSPD’s finding:

“It is the opinion of the Greene County Prosecuting Attorney that the death of Kenneth E. Livingston was due to his own accidental shooting, based on the evidence, extensive investigation, the Coroner’s findings and official verdict. No criminal charges will be filed against any person in this matter.”

Previously, in February, Greene County Coroner Kevin Sharrett ruled that Livingston’s death was an accident. His finding was that Livingston died of acute ventricular dysrhythmia and a contact gunshot wound of the head. The coroner noted “muzzle abrasion on the skin,” which, along with other evidence, indicated that the gun was in close range to the skin when fired.

The YSPD investigation additionally included witness statements and the results of DNA testing on the firearm from the Miami Valley Regional Crime Laboratory. Those results indicated that no DNA foreign to Livingston was found on the handgun used, and were completed on Aug. 22. The investigating officer, YSPD Officer Paul Raffoul, then met with Greene County prosecutors on Sept. 6 to review the file.

According to the YSPD investigation, one witness — the witness on the deck with Livingston at the time of the shooting — stated it was common for Livingston to carry a firearm and show it to others and that “many times” before he had put an unloaded gun to his head and pulled the trigger.

In a statement to the News this week, YSPD Chief Brian Carlson wrote: “We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of a member of our community.”

Read the full story here.


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