Active shooter leaves four people dead, including himself at mobile home park after standoff with police

LAKE COUNTY, OH - On Friday, November 17th, the Mentor Police Department (MPD) provided an update regarding a shooting at a mobile park home that left four people dead, including the gunman. 

The shooting, which turned into a standoff with police, took place on Thursday, November 16th at the Mentor Green Mobile Home Park, located at 7166 Mentor Avenue. The deadly shooting also left one person injured. 

Mentor Police Chief Ken Gunsch said that their own officers, along with several other officers from other local police departments, were called to the mobile home park around 4:30 p.m. on threats of an active shooter. Upon arriving on scene, officers said they found several victims.

Those victims have been identified as: 63-year-old Laura Colon, who was found dead from her injuries in the roadway; 63-year-old Charles Skala, who was found shot in his home and who remains in stable condition with serious injuries; 63-year-old Terrance Mathis Sr., who was shot in the stomach and later died at the hospital; and 81-year-old Thomas Galizia, who died from his injuries on scene.

The shooter has been identified as 47-year-old Jason Norris. According to Gunsch, he left a "hail of gunfire," six to eight shots, targeted directly at responding officers. None of the officers were hit by the bullets and none of the officers fired back. Gunsch said, "It's a blessing none of our officers were shot by this suspect."

According to reports, the Mentor Police Hostage Negotiation Team attempted to make contact with Norris throughout the evening of November 16th, but did not have success in doing so. At approximately 8:15 p.m., a tactical drone was deployed into Norris' trailer where he was observed with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Lake County SWT entered and secured the unit shortly after confirming Norris' death. In addition to the two handguns, a mounted long-rifle as well as ammunition magazines were found inside of his trailer. Brett Joseph, an attorney representing the owner of the mobile home park, said that Norris was being evicted due to violating rules set forth by the mobile home park.

The attorney said that among those rule violations were the fact that Norris brought a woman onto the property who was not allowed to be there and that the police had been called to his unit several times previously. Joseph said that to his understanding, Norris had no past instances of threatening or violent behavior, but that he did have some trouble with the neighbors.

Colon, one of the victims who was deadly shot, was the mobile home park property manager. Joseph could only speak wonderful things about her, saying that she was a woman who loved to garden and was a tenant on the property. He added, "Laura was a wonderful person who did not deserve to lose her life in this manner."

According to FOX 8, police have since cleared our Norris' trailer. The entire mobile home park was declared a crime scene until Friday morning. Several of the residents were misplaced due to the incident and will be temporarily relocated to the Mentor Senior Center.

One resident of the mobile home park said that the residents who live there are age 55 and older. Another resident said that Norris lived across the street from her and barricaded himself in that residence. She said she believes that he had been evicted. She added, "He just went crazy. There are still people in [the park]. Lots of people."

Scott Skufka, 55, lives less than a half-mile away from the mobile home park and he said that he heard a gunshot, then a short pause, then five more gunshots around 4:30 p.m. He said, "I knew immediately they were gunshots."

Larry Morrow, 79, who has lived at the mobile home park for 23 years, said that he was at a bar in Willoughby when the standoff with police began. He said that it is usually a very quiet community, adding, "I know a lot of people there. I just hope [the victims] are not someone I know."

The entire incident remains under investigation by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation. The Mentor Victim's Advocate and the Lake County Crisis Team are actively engaged with the impacted residents, attending to their needs and traumas from the incident. 
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