Standoff suspect served 4 years for firing gun into a crowd of 30

LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- A 31-year-old Cincinnati man facing multiple felony charges from a 30-hour standoff at a Liberty Twp. apartment complex last weekend has been involved with the court system before, the Journal-News reported.

Donald T. Gazaway, 31, of the 1600 block of Cedar Avenue, was let into a residence in 700 block of East Hamilton Place late Friday night, according to detectives. He then demanded thousands in cash, pulled a gun and took a 10 year-boy hostage.

During the standoff that ended peacefully Sunday morning, deputies say Gazaway shot at them in excess of 20 times and used the boy clad in Snoopy pajamas as a human shield.

Gazaway was released from prison in July after serving four years for felonious assault in Hamilton County. He shot a gun into a crowd of 30 people at a party, according to court documents.

Twice Gazaway filed motions in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court asking for early release with letters from his fiance and a Cincinnati pastor in support.

In a letter to Judge Dennis Helmick in August 2014, Gazaway wrote, “throughout being incarcerated, I have put (forth) a great amount of effort to make accomplishments to better myself to society. The progress that I have made has changed me drastically and has made me very family-oriented.”

Gazaway said in the letter he wanted to remain a law-abiding citizen for the sake of his fiancee and his daughter.

He had much the same to say in a letter to Judge Leslie Ghiz, dated April 24, 2015.

“(My) plan when I enter into society is to continue what I have started here in bettering myself and continuing to reiterate the positive attributes of living a structured life. I have a family, a home, and a great network of support when I enter back into society,” Gazaway wrote. He also pointed out training and courses he completed in prison.

Both judges denied early judicial release. Gazaway has a history of arrests dating back to 2004, according to court records.

The Journal-News is a media partner of WCPO - 9 On Your Side.

Print this article Back to Top