Son of man who died in Springfield standoff: He ‘was a good dad’

SWAT vehicles left on Apollo Ave. overnight for investigation from BCI on standoff. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

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SWAT vehicles left on Apollo Ave. overnight for investigation from BCI on standoff. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

The son of the Springfield man who fired shots in his neighborhood and at police, prompting a nearly nine-hour standoff Saturday before apparently taking his own life, said his father was a good man.

“Dad was a good dad ... 20 years in the Navy,” said Charles Ferguson II of his father, Charles Ferguson, 64. “I kind of wanted to follow in his footsteps a little, but I went to college instead.”

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The Clark County Coroner’s Office on Tuesday confirmed the man’s identity.

Ferguson II was at the scene when the incident started, and he later was able to speak to his father when the standoff was underway.

“I spoke with him through the negotiators and tried to get some reason and logic in,” he said. “But, I don’t know. I thought it was a nightmare or a dream, but it’s reality.”

“I feel like I am missing something,” Ferguson II said, adding he did not know what went wrong.

The son described his father as the “life of a party, that is for sure. Just all around good guy.”

He added: “If you know him, he is going to make you laugh. He’s always got a joke to tell. It might sound corny but then you think about it, and you’ll laugh.”

ExplorePHOTOS: Investigation continues after Springfield standoff

Springfield police responded Saturday morning to a domestic call on Apollo Avenue on the city’s northeast side off of Home Road.

The responding officer had to retreat when the elder Ferguson fired shots at her cruiser.

Later, according to Police Chief Lee Graf, the man fired about 20 shots at SWAT members as they approached the house believing he would surrender.

No officers were injured, and no officers returned fire at that time.

Communications broke day later in the day, and the home owner fired on SWAT officers again as they were near the house. This time they returned fire and used tear gas.

Officers later heard a single shot from the house, and that is when it is believed the elder Ferguson took his own life.

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Agents from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation are overseeing the investigation, and Graf said evidence will be sent to the Clark County Prosecutor’s Office for review when complete.

“Only when he got into a sustained, engaged firefight and when we had officers pinned down did we return fire in self-defense,” Graf said.