'It's concerning': Man accused of shooting at Evendale Asian grocery store had order to not have guns

Daniel Beckjord.PNG
Posted at 11:51 PM, Jan 26, 2023

EVENDALE, Ohio — When Greater Cincinnati's only Japanese grocery store was shot at over the weekend, it left an elderly couple struggling to pick up the pieces.

Now, the alleged shooter is facing a slew of charges for a crime he shouldn't have been able to commit.

Evendale police said Daniel Beckjord pulled into the parking lot of the Evendale Plaza on Reading Road Sunday, pulled out a handgun and started firing into the business. Though the store was closed at the time and no one was hurt, the shooting impacted Koji Sado.

"I left work (the next day) and rushed over there just to check on them and see how they were doing," said Sado, president of the Japan America Society of Greater Cincinnati.

Sado has known the owners, 93-year-old Tozan Matsuda and his 80-year-old wife Kimiko, for years. He said the couple has been dealt a series of difficult blows since 2019.

Their home has been burglarized twice, they've struggled to keep shelves stocked amid supply shortages and both have battled COVID-19.

Kimiko's illness was so severe it temporarily landed her in a nursing home due to a lack of available hospital beds, Sado said.

Sunday's shooting only added insult to injury he said, and according to court documents, it never should have happened.

Beckjord wasn't supposed to have a gun in the first place. He was arrested in July 2022 in Northside on two separate charges for allegedly walking into traffic with a loaded handgun. He's also accused of gesturing into a business, pointing his hand in the shape of a gun.

Court documents show a judge allowed his quick release on bond on the conditions Beckjord do not consume alcohol nor possess any weapons.

However, not only did Beckjord have two guns on him when he was arrested Sunday, but officers also found multiple firearms, ballistic vests and a multitude of ammunition after serving a search warrant on his home.

The Hamilton County Prosector's Office said bond conditions are difficult to enforce.

"There's no real oversight once you leave the courtroom," spokesperson Amy Clausing said. "If you're otherwise legally permitted to possess a firearm and you're ordered not to by the judge, if you get stopped by a police officer and you have a gun, there's no way for that police officer to know you're not permitted to have it."

Clausing said that's because bond conditions aren't entered into law enforcement databases. It hinges on the principle that defendants are innocent until proven guilty.

If a person is found to be in violation of their bond condition, at most their bond would be revoked. They do not receive an additional charge.

"It's definitely a concern for us and, from our perspective, always been the fallacy of bail reform," Clausing said.

Sado wants to see the system changed.

"The reason why we should enforce it is because of cases like this," he said.

Police are still investigating Beckjord's motive, but Sado and others in the local Asian-American community fear what happened Sunday was a targeted attack.

To help the elderly couple recover, Sado created a GoFundMe. As of Thursday night, it's garnered more than $14,000.

Sado also leads the local organization Asianati. He said his board is planning to deliver 1,000 paper origami cranes to the Matsudas. It's a traditional Japanese symbol of blessings and goodwill.

"I think the biggest thing is to just really help and support the Matsudas and just have them smile," Sado said. "We want them to smile again and restore faith in the people, in the community and just humanity."