Sheriff: Crosby Township child custody dispute ended in fatal shooting

CROSBY TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- A child custody exchange ended in a fatal shooting near a community pool Friday afternoon, according to the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office.

James Rhymer, who now faces a murder charge, claimed in a 911 call he shot the victim in self-defense.

"I had to shoot somebody up here on Blue Rock Road," he told a dispatcher. Over the course of the 11-minute call, he insisted repeatedly: "I had to. He attacked me, ma'am."

At a court hearing Saturday, Hamilton County Sheriff's Detective James Otte said the child is 3 years old -- and that there's surveillance video of what happened "in its entirety."

"Based on the investigation thusfar, there is nothing to indicate that the events that led up to the shooting were anything more than a verbal altercation," Otte said.

Authorities received the first calls about the incident, which took place on Fort Scott Boulevard, around 5:30 p.m.

According to a news release, 44-year-old Rhymer and the victim, 37-year-old Thomas James Landacre, had become involved in a fight over the custody exchange when Rhymer shot the other man in the chest. Rhymer's attorney said the child is Rhymer's son.

Despite bystanders' efforts to administer first aid, Landacre was pronounced dead upon arrival at Good Samaritan Hospital Western Ridge.

Rhymer surrendered to officers nearby, at which point he was taken to the Hamilton County Justice Center and charged with murder.

Municipal Court Judge Heather Russell set his bond at $750,000 at Saturday's court hearing. Under the terms of his bond, he can be released if he pays 10 percent of that amount.

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