Shooting at Douglass Park in Middletown
The park in located in Middletown.
Middletown police have charged Juan Douglas Wofford with shooting a man in the head in front of kids playing at Douglass Park Wednesday afternoon.
Carlos Knight (Photo courtesy Journal-News )
MIDDLETOWN, Ohio -- Police have charged a familiar suspect, 28-year-old Juan Douglas Wofford, with shooting a man in the head in plain sight of kids playing at Douglass Park Wednesday afternoon.
Police say Wofford, aka Little Dougie, was a strong suspect in a similar execution-style shooting in 2008. He has been charged 56 times for various crimes, police said.
Wofford is accused of stepping out of a Jeep near the splash pad where kids were playing and firing a single shot at 32-year-old Carlos Knight about 2:05 p.m. on Wednesday.
A man who lives nearby said he saw a "puddle of blood."
Six years ago, Wofford was considered a suspect in the slaying of Spencer Davis, who died from a shot in the head at the Grand Illusion Bar, 4305 Grand Ave. There were plenty of witnesses, but no one was willing to testify, police said.
Police have not caught Wofford, and they ask for anyone with information to call Det. Meehan at 513-425-7724 or Det. Bush at 513-425-7702.
Wofford, who lived at 806 17th Ave., was released from prison on May 9 after a sentence for drug charges. Five days later, he was arrested at Douglass Park for possession of heroin.
Wofford is charged with felonious assault and weapons under disability.
Knight's wound was "life-threatening," police said. He underwent surgery Wednesday evening at a Dayton hospital.
Gilbert Thomas, who lives across from the park, told WCPO reporter Jason Law that children were playing in the water just feet from the shooting.
"I just saw them over there and a gun laying in the ground, a puddle of blood," Thomas said.
"It's a nice park," he said. "When something like this happens, it's not understandable. I've been here 71 years, and I've never seen this."
James Stephens, whose 3-year-old grandson frequently plays at the park, said he and his family walked to the parking lot shortly after the crime scene tape came down.
"It hurts because I got my little grand baby right there," he said. "He's only 3 years old. What if I had had him over here and something happened like that?"
A police dog and the Butler County Sheriff’s helicopter searched for the shooter through Wednesday evening.