NEWTON FALLS - Police here believe a village man shot and killed four people Friday before fleeing to a nearby cemetery and fatally shooting himself in the chest after a short stand-off with police, ending an hours-long manhunt.
Records, family interviews and police sources said Robert Brazzon, 55, fatally shot his girlfriend, Tracey Engler, 38, at the couple's 604-A Newton Drive home, then killed Rikki Cogley, 42, his wife Kathy Cogley, 39, and her son, 15-year-old Everett Greathouse at their 72 Trumbull Court home.
Brazzon then drove a white Dodge Intrepid to the Newton Township Cemetery on Ridge Road where he took his own life, according to a release from Newton Falls police Chief John Kuivila.
The Cogleys and Greathouse all had multiple gunshot wounds, according to police.
Another man, who police said drove with Brazzon during parts of the four-hour manhunt, was being questioned by investigators late Friday but had not been arrested.
Investigators taped off the area surrounding both homes, which were separated by a narrow street about a block a part. Nearby residents watched the events unfold for most of the day.
Trumbull County dog wardens remove several dogs from a home in Newton Falls where three people were found shot to death Friday. Police discovered a fourth shooting victim later in the day about a block away. A suspect was found dead in a nearby cemetery.
No motive has been given for the shootings.
"We're trying to sort through all this chaos," Kuivila said.
Lisa Brazzon, who said she was Robert Brazzon's daughter, said she, her father, Engler and the Cogleys took a family trip for the July 4 holiday to Willow Lake. in Champion. She said Rikki Cogley was her uncle on her mother's side.
Brazzon said she found Engler lying face down in her home and called police when she realized the woman was dead.
"I walked in and the dogs were going crazy," Lisa Brazzon said. "She was cold and stiff to the touch."
Police were called to the Cogley home about noon by one of the male murder victims who alerted 911 dispatch. Kuivila refused to release the 911 audio.
Five-year-old Rikki Cogley Jr., who was inside the Trumbull Court home at the time of the shootings, then ran to his aunt's house next door. The aunt, Tina Brazzon, whose relationship to Robert Brazzon is unclear, said the boy alerted family members saying, "Daddy's dead. Mommy's dead."
Tina Brazzon said Rikki and Kathy Cogley had recently reconciled after filing for divorce. One other child lived with the couple, Anthony Greathouse, 12, who Tina Brazzon said was autistic.
Several dogs also were taken from the Trumbull Court home by the Trumbull County Dog Warden's Office.
Family members gathered across the street from the Cogley home, cried and hugged each other for most of the day.
Neighbors and friends praised Greathouse, saying he always took care of his two brothers.
"He was a self-taught kid and he really depended mostly on himself," said village resident Billy Reese, who used to baby-sit the teen. "He was a good kid."
About 4 p.m., Kuivila and dozens of other officers who were still gathering evidence from the 72 Trumbull Court home, raced to their vehicles and drove to the cemetery. They quickly surrounded Robert Brazzon, who shot himself in the chest, police said.
Police found the white Intrepid in the cemetery.
It was during the chase that Lisa Brazzon discovered Engler inside the Newton Drive home.
"I can't believe it," Lisa Brazzon said. "My whole family's dead."
The Trumbull County Homicide Task Force, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, Braceville police, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Trumbull and Portage County Sheriff's Offices, and the Coroner's Office are assisted the investigation.
According to Trumbull County Common Pleas Court records, Robert Brazzon pleaded guilty in November 1999 to felony drug trafficking. Judge John M. Stuard sentenced him to five years' probation, plus costs. The probation was later amended to two years.