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Case Study: Ohio Man Shoots Daughter’s Ex-Boyfriend During Attempted Break-In

Case Study: Ohio Man Shoots Daughter’s Ex-Boyfriend During Attempted Break-In

As concealed carriers, one of the best training tools we have is to study a variety of self-defense cases and learn from them.

By evaluating these situations and looking at what went wrong, what went right, and how it might have been handled differently, we gain a better understanding of how these incidents unfold and become better prepared to defend ourselves.

On July 31, 2022, an Ohio father shot and killed his daughter’s ex-boyfriend when he attempted to break into the family home. Let’s break it down.

Incident Breakdown

Ring doorbell footage captured an incident in Sidney, Ohio, in which a man fatally shot his daughter’s ex-boyfriend in the back after he attempted to break into the front door of the family’s house.

Original Ring doorbell footage can be found here to get a better idea of what happened. Fair warning: the video is graphic and may be disturbing to some viewers.

In the video, you can see two of the home’s residents – Stacy Duckro and her daughter Allyson Duckro – park their vehicle in the driveway and walk toward the front door. As they are making their way inside, a vehicle pulls into the driveway behind them.

Mom and Daughter

A few moments later, 22-year-old James Rayl is seen approaching the front door. Allyson Duckro later told police Rayl was her ex-boyfriend, and their relationship had ended a year and a half earlier. She also said he had attempted to contact her the previous evening via voicemail.

Situation Awareness

As he approaches the house, Stacy Duckro is heard telling him, “she doesn’t want to talk to you.”

Rayl rings the doorbell, and when nobody opens the door, he begins shaking the handle and trying to open the door. Husband and wife Mitch and Stacy Duckro are heard shouting at Rayl and telling him to stop.

“James, no,” Mitch Duckro said. “Get off my porch.”

Rayl doesn’t respond but begins slamming his shoulder into the door in an alleged attempt to break in. Sometime during the incident, Allyson Duckro placed a call to 911.

Attacker at the door

| Case Note: When possible, always call 911 as soon as you’ve identified a threat to alert police to the incident and get them on their way. Regardless of what happens next, you’ll likely need law enforcement to help handle the situation – even if it’s just to file a report.

Mitch Duckro is then heard commanding Rayl to stop and warning him, "I’ve got a gun.”

| Case Note: Using your “command voice” to tell an attacker to back off is an essential step in a defensive encounter. Telling them you’re armed gives them a chance to walk away and de-escalate the situation. And if they choose to continue the attack, at least you gave them fair warning.

After a few moments, Rayl successfully breaks open the door, and Mitch Duckro immediately fires three rapid shots as Rayl turns and starts to make his way back down the driveway.

He stumbles just around the corner of the garage, where he collapses and dies.


According to a statement issued by Shelby County, an autopsy later confirmed that Rayl was hit three times: once in the left shoulder, once in the right shoulder, and once – fatally – in the back.

| Case Note: When an attacker is retreating, let them go, get yourself somewhere safe, and wait for police to arrive. It can be difficult to make a judgment call in the heat of the moment, which is why consistent training is so important.

An investigation was launched by the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and Sidney Police Department, who discovered the door’s deadbolt was in the locked position. The casing on the lock side was broken, indicating that Rayl successfully broke the door open.

Officers also found three bullet holes in the door’s glass window – indicating Mitch Duckro shot through the door. They also found three hollow point 9mm cartridges on the floor of the residence and the weapon that was used on the mantel of the home’s fireplace.

The Aftermath

Following a police investigation, a grand jury convened on Aug. 4 to determine whether Mitch Duckro was legally justified in shooting Rayl.

After reviewing the evidence, the jury deliberated and voted 8 to 1 not to charge Duckro based on Ohio’s new “Stand Your Ground” law that went into effect in April 2021, as well as the state’s “Castle Doctrine,” which state that a person does not have a “duty to retreat” before using deadly force to protect themselves.

Essentially, because of the state’s updated Stand Your Ground laws, Ohio residents are not required to attempt to leave a dangerous situation before using lethal force in “self-defense, defense of another, or defense of that person's residence” in a place where they legally have a right to be, according to Ohio law.

Following Rayl’s death, his sister has stated she believes the investigation into the shooting was “rushed” and that Mitch Duckro was not justified in using lethal force against her brother, citing the fact that Duckro shot Rayl in the back through their front door and that he never even made it inside the house.

On the other hand, supporters of the Duckro family have justified the shooting, saying they waited until Rayl had broken the front door to fire, warned him they were armed, and believed he intended to cause serious harm to Allyson Duckro, who is heard in the 911 call after the incident telling her dad, “there’s nothing you could have done, you saved my life.”

So, what do you think?


After learning the details of the encounter, it’s time to reflect on what happened and how you might have handled the same situation.

Do you think the shooter was justified in this incident? Why or why not? Do you think there was anything that could or should have been done differently? How would you have handled the same situation? Be sure to share your thoughts on this case with us on social media @VedderHolsters.

Knowledge is power, and analyzing incidents like these can only serve to better prepare you to respond appropriately in the event you are faced with a similar situation. For more resources on training, information on local gun control and concealed carry laws, and general CCW tips, check out the U.S. Concealed Carry Association.

If you’re looking for belts or holsters, we recommend visiting our Holsters by Gun Model page if you are looking for holsters that are custom-made for your weapon of choice. For all of our belt and holster options and for more information to help you choose the carry system that works best for you, visit our Vedder Holsters website.

Looking for items beyond holsters and belts, check out our Resources Page for popular product links like lights, lasers, first aid, maintenance, and more.

Mikayla Blair

After launching her career as an award-winning journalist in the American Southwest, Mikayla Blair joined the Vedder Holsters team as a content writer in 2021. She writes about all things guns, holsters, and concealed carry, and is especially passionate about women's self-defense.

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