The victim in a June 8 shooting in Defiance has been released from the hospital and is recovering from “multiple” gunshot wounds.
City police also have provided further details of the incident.
Becky Clifford, 29, was shot by her neighbor, John Ruark III, 30, who then took his own life just as officers arrived around 2 p.m. June 8 at 520 E. Second St. Ruark lived in the upstairs apartment, while Clifford lived in the bottom apartment.
According to Defiance Police Department Lt. Dave Richards, Ruark entered Clifford’s apartment and shot her “multiple” times. She was unarmed.
“He just walked up to her and shot her,” he said.
Because Ruark is no longer alive, police have little more to investigate, but would like to speak with Clifford.
“When she’s ready, she can talk to us,” said Richards.
Clifford had been taken to Mercy Health-Defiance Hospital after the shooting before being transferred to Mercy Health-St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo. She was released several days later despite suffering wounds from a .38-caliber Smith and Wesson revolver.
The shooting followed what appeared to be an ongoing dispute between Ruark and Clifford’s brother, Michael Clifford, who also lived at 520 Second St.
In fact, less than two hours before the June 8 shooting, city police had been called to the two-story duplex to investigate a physical altercation between Ruark and Michael Clifford. Richards said officers were summoned at 12:23 p.m. that day, but Michael Clifford had left and could not be immediately located.
Officers were “awaiting to get Michael’s version before making a decision (on potential charges),” he explained.
According to Richards, the two men had argued after Ruark’s car was struck by an object reportedly tossed by a child living at 520 E. Second St.
After officers had left the scene from the initial dispute, Ruark entered Becky Clifford’s apartment carrying two guns — the aforementioned .38-caliber weapon and a .45-caliber Springfield that had jammed — and shot her a number of times. Meanwhile, police were called to the scene for a welfare check requested by Ruark’s former fiance.
When they arrived, Richards noted, officers heard the last shot fired, which was Ruark taking his own life with a single gunshot to the head.
Police had handled a number of complaints involving Ruark — some of which he registered himself with police — over a period of about 15 months.
Officers were called to 520 E. Second St. on March 23, 2018, due to a “verbal altercation” concerning a car blocking the alley.
And on May 29, 2018, police investigated a disturbance at B&B Molded Products on Ottawa Avenue, where Ruark was reportedly yelling at another person. But he was not located, Richards related.
On July 4, 2018, police investigated a complaint at 516 E. Second St. when Ruark reported seeing Michael Clifford assault another person. Less than two weeks later — on July 17, 2018 — police were called to 520 E. Second St. where Ruark registered a loud music complaint against Michael Clifford.
And on Aug. 3, 2018, police investigated a vandalism complaint at the same residence in which Ruark reported that the hood of his vehicle had been scratched.