Crime

Man tried staging suicide to mislead Columbus police in fatal shooting, officer says

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Do you know what to do if you accidentally dial 911? Do you know what information is crucial in an emergency? Here's what you need to know in North Texas to get the police, fire or ambulance service you need fast.

Edward Lominac tried an elaborate ruse to hide his role in Friday’s fatal shooting of Travis McDaniel in an East Wynnton home, a detective testified Monday.

He tried to make it look like McDaniel shot himself, Detective D. Wysinger told Columbus Recorder’s Court Judge Julius Hunter during Lominac’s preliminary hearing.

Wysinger said police were called at 9:06 p.m. to 2315 10th St. by a couple who were in-laws to the woman living there, and they told officers a body was inside.

Police found McDaniel, 27, lying partway in a hallway with his legs extending across a threshold into a bedroom. He had a bullet entrance wound to the left side of his head and an exit wound at the base of his skull on the right side.

In his right hand was a Tec 9 semi-automatic pistol. His index finger was in the trigger guard, but his thumb was not on the gun, Wysinger said. Police noticed “drag marks” indicating the body had been moved from the bedroom.

In the bedroom, where a chair was beside a keyboard, officers saw a projectile had damaged the keyboard, and a pool of blood was behind the chair.

Police spoke with the woman who lived there, and she told them Lominac was her father who had moved from New Jersey to live with her and her three children, having recently been released from prison, Wysinger said. The woman had spent Friday with other family, and when she last left her home around 5 p.m., only Lominic and McDaniel were there, she told investigators.

She said Lominac called her around 8:20 p.m. and told her an accidental shooting had killed someone in her home, and he needed help. She told him she had a career and children and could not get involved.

Lominac also called other people he knew, trying to get a ride to a bus station, Wysinger said.

He called police Saturday to surrender, and while being questioned told investigators McDaniel had come to visit his daughter’s home about 2 p.m. Friday, and the two men spent the afternoon drinking around 30 beers.

Later McDaniel told Lominac he was going to buy a gun, and a man came by with the weapon, which McDaniel and the seller walked off to examine, Lominac told police.

After the seller left, McDaniel showed Lominac the gun, and Lominac agreed to contribute toward its purchase, he told officers. They drank for two more hours, and McDaniel tested the gun outside by firing into the air, Lominac said.

He told detectives McDaniel was sitting in the chair in the bedroom and handing the gun to Lominac when it fired, the bullet hitting McDaniel in the head.

Though Lominac claimed the two had consumed more than a case of beer, police found only four beer cans in the house, said Wysinger, who added that Lominac’s daughter told investigators the Tec 9 belonged to her father, who had fired it into the air outside her house on New Year’s Eve.

Lominac was charged with murder. After hearing Wysinger’s testimony, Judge Hunter found probable cause to send the case to Superior Court. Lominac is being held without bond.

Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

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