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Gunman in Copley Township Slayings Identified by Police

Michael Hance, 51, chased down father and son after killing neighbor family.

Copley police identified the gunman in Sunday’s gun slayings of seven people as Michael Hance, 51, of 2389 Goodenough Ave.

Hance lived at the home with his girlfriend, Rebecca Dieter, 49, although he also kept a residence in Akron.

Police still are unsure what prompted the slayings, which killed two members of Dieter’s family who were visiting from Kentucky, as well as four of their neighbors and a visitor who were outside when the shooting began.

Police shot and killed Hance after frantic 911 calls from neighbors who saw Hance running through the area firing his gun. Rebecca Dieter remains in an Akron-area hospital in critical condition with several gunshot wounds.

Police gave this timeline of Sunday’s events, all of which unfolded in less than 10 minutes:

  • Shots fired - Police were called to the home Hance and Rebecca Dieter shared on Goodenough Avenue shortly before 11 a.m. 
  • The shooting continues - Hance shot Dieter several times, then headed over to the house next door where residents Russell Johnson, his wife Gudrun and their son Brian Johnson were gathered outside. Hance shot and killed Russell Gudrun and his wife.
  • Teenage victims - Hance then shot and killed Brian Johnson’s daughter Autumn Johnson, 17, and another teen girl as they sat in an SUV in the home’s driveway. Police have not released the name of the second teen because her family has not been notified yet of her death.
  • Man and child targeted- Hance then chased Bryan Johnson and 11-year-old Scott Dieter north up Schocalog Road. The man and child split up. Hance caught up with the elder Bryan Johnson and shot him dead.
  • Victims hiding - Hance then saw the little boy cross Schocalog and chased him. The youngster banged on the door of 1219 Schocalog and the woman who lives there let him in. The resident called 911 and was told to go to the basement with Scott and her three children.
  • More shooting - Hance got into the house, went to the basement and told the woman to leave with her children. Hance then shot the 11-year-old, killing him.
  • Police pursuit - A Copley Township officer and a second man, a former Copley Township officer, are together scouring the neighborhood for a man with a gun when they came upon Hance. 
  • Terror ends - The officer ordered Hance to drop his weapon. Hance did not. The Copley officer then shot Hance, killing him.

Also from today's press conference: 

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