TOLEDO, Ohio (WNWO) — Five days after he is believed to have murdered his grandmother in Warren, Michigan, 23-year-old Damon Barstad has been killed while in Toledo Police custody.
"We were waiting for the warrant to come down from Michigan. We had him not in handcuffs, so he wouldn't sit for an hour or two in a holding cell handcuffed, out of a courtesy. We un-handcuffed him and he did what he did when we let him out," said Chief George Kral.
Warren Police say Barstad stabbed 68-year-old Rene Morrisette to death at her home, and then stuffed her inside a recyclable trash bin. Two knives were found inside the bin, as well.
They believe this could have happened last Saturday. Barstad's father is the one who called 911 to report that he hadn't heard from her since then.
"The detectives are very actively working on this investigation. It's in the early stages. It's ongoing and obviously more information is to follow," said Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer.
Barstad was discovered at the Days Inn Motel on Miami Street in Toledo around 3 a.m. Thursday by Warren Police.
Warren Police say they found a handgun in Barstad's hotel room, and "key evidence."
Toledo Police officers then assisted and brought him to the Safety Building downtown.
While he was in TPD custody, around 12:30 p.m., Barstad said he had to use the restroom.
Once he was let out of his cell, Barstad attacked officers and stole one's taser. It was then when a member of TPD shot Barstad and killed him.
"We're interviewing officers, collecting evidence, and when we get done with that paperwork and processing, as in every officer-involved shooting, we will be presenting it to the Lucas County Prosecutor's Office for presentation in front of a grand jury," explained Kral.
Toledo Police Chief George Kral defended his officer, saying he would not second guess his actions.
"That's something that happens in the blink of an eye, and if the officer felt his life was in danger or someone else's life was in danger, that's when the decision was made."
The TPD officer that killed Barstad has been placed on administrative leave. He fired one shot and is an eight year veteran with the force. This is his first deadly shooting.