The man accused in late May of the shooting death of a Springfield business owner in January was a suspect from the early part of the investigation, police confirmed Wednesday.
A Springfield Police Division sergeant shared some new details and thanked the community for help in the arrest of and charges against Daniel Taylor Jr., 20. He is accused of shooting to death Thomas Gill, 64, who was driving in his car around Kenton and Burt streets on Jan. 5.
Taylor was indicted on two counts of murder, felonious assault, improper handling of firearms in a motor vehicle, unlawful possession of a dangerous ordnance, discharge of a firearm on or near prohibited premises and three counts of having weapons while under disability.
Gill was the owner of Gill’s Quality Meat Market, which has been in business on Selma Road since 1998.
Springfield Police Sgt. James Byron declined to share if the shooting was random or targeted. He said Taylor was a suspect from the start, with evidence at the scene linking officers to him.
“We knew right away who we were looking for, we just obviously weren’t going to present it (to court) until we had enough information to present all the charges,” Byron said.
Byron also said officers will not bring charges against anyone else in the murder.
Taylor was released from prison less than a month before the shooting, according to Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Correction records.
Springfield police were called at 9 p.m. Jan. 5 to the area of Kenton and Burt streets on a report of a man shot. As officers arrived, they saw a 2013 Buick Enclave in the southeast corner of the intersection with several people standing around it, according to an incident report.
Four people called dispatch about the shooting. One 911 caller who was near the intersection told dispatchers that he saw a car sitting in the intersection that appeared to have struck a stop sign and was facing the wrong direction.
“I need to warn you, it sounded like there was a gunshot and people yelling at each other,” the caller told dispatch.
Another caller, who identified himself as Gill’s son, called dispatch the night of the shooting and crash.
“I need help, help! Someone just drove by. They shot him, they shot my dad,” the caller said. He told dispatchers that Gill was shot in the neck and was having trouble breathing. The son said he did not know who shot his father and passed the phone to a man who was nearby and helping.
The SUV reportedly went off the roadway left of Burt Street while traveling south, the report stated. Police found Gill in the front driver seat with a wound to the left side of his neck, bleeding profusely.
The Springfield Fire Rescue Division transported Gill to Springfield Regional Medical Center, where he died from his injuries, according to the report.
Community input helped in the case, Byron said, and police are grateful for that.
“We knew there were people that had information in this case, and we did get some cooperation from people in the community that did help us,” Byron said. “We always ask if you have information to reach out to us, which people did, and it helped.”
More than 100 people held a candlelight vigil at Gill’s shop on Jan. 9, celebrating his impact on the community.
After his death, it was taken over by Gill’s son, Shayne.
“So much remains unknown, but one thing is obvious,” Shayne Gill said at the vigil. “And that is the love people have for Tom Gill.”
Gill was a 1976 graduate of Northeastern High School.