Man gets up to 13½ years in deadly shooting at Davis-Linden Building in Dayton

Active shooter threat prompts massive response, 5 SWAT teams to large commercial building.

An Indiana man will spend more than a dozen years in prison for a deadly active shooter threat in June that drew law enforcement from multiple agencies, including five SWAT teams, to a large brick commercial building in Dayton.

Jacob A. Ashba, 31, was sentenced Tuesday in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court to 12 to 13½ years after he pleaded guilty Feb. 9 to reckless homicide, felonious assault, discharge of a firearm on or near prohibited premises and three counts of tampering with evidence.

Credit: Montgomery County Jail

Credit: Montgomery County Jail

Ashba was convicted of fatally shooting 45-year-old Randy E. Allen of Dayton.

Law enforcement officers from multiple agencies, including five SWAT crews, responded June 17 to the Davis-Linden Building at 400 Linden Ave. for an active shooter threat updated to a shooting with a suspect inside the building and additional shots fired, Lt. Steve Bauer of the Dayton Police Department previously said.

Multiple letters written to Judge Elizabeth Ellis asking for leniency described Ashba as hardworking and skilled mechanic and machinist who built and repaired vintage motorcycles in Dayton. They also said he was a loyal and trustworthy friend and someone who would lend a helping hand to anyone in need.

However, a sentencing memorandum filed by the prosecutor’s office seeking at least 12 years in prison plus restitution paints the picture of a man who shot and killed Allen after he was beaten with a metal pipe while fleeing a fight outside the motorcycle shop. The prosecutor’s office said after the deadly shooting, Ashba nearly got away with the crime because he changed clothing, destroyed the firearm and got a haircut.

The dispute began the night of June 16 at Ned Peppers in the Oregon District when Ashba’s friend and another man were interested in the same woman. Ashba’s friend knocked the other man to the ground when Ashba kicked the man already down and apparently threw his property into the parking lot, the document stated.

The next day, the other man arrived with a group to the motorcycle repair shop at the Davis-Linden Building and resumed a fight. Video showed Ashba holding an AK 47 as he watched the fight from a doorway. At one point, a man fired a rifle in the air to disperse the crowd, which broke up as they started to leave.

Allen was older and slower than the others in the group and was an easy target, with one man hitting him with a small metal bar as he tried to get away, the memo read.

“Despite this beating, (Allen) was able to get into his driver seat and get his car in drive to pull away. Defendant approached the fleeing victim, thrust his gun in the driver side window and shot (Allen) in the head at close range. The results were immediate and devastating,” the document stated.

Ashba then returned to the shop, changed his shirt, used machinery to damage the gun and hid the pieces, some of which were never found. Meanwhile. multiple SWAT units and law enforcement from all over Montgomery County and surrounding counties responded to assist and safely clear the building of terrified tenants who were sheltering in place during the shooting, according to the prosecutor’s office.

“Within an hour of the homicide, with the building surrounded, defendant calmly walked out of the building in his changed shirt, on his phone. He acted confused as to why the police were there and said he was just visiting a friend,” the memo stated.

Ashba later was arrested while getting a haircut in Centerville but was released when charges were not filed. When he was indicted in August, the grand jury that heard evidence in the case ignored two counts of murder, according to the Aug. 15 grand jury report.

As part of Ashba’s plea, an additional felonious assault count and a misdemeanor charge of obstructing official business were dismissed, according to plea documents.

Ashba has been held since Aug. 16 in the Montgomery County Jail.

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