BOARDMAN - A homeowner and the man police say he shot to death during a home invasion Tuesday afternoon have a history of conflict, township police said.
Capt. Donald Hawkins said that resident Kevin Neal, 44, of Lockwood Boulevard, had filed for a protection order against Michael Spera, 38, of Hopkins Road, in the past.
Spera was killed after Hawkins said he broke a sliding glass door at Neal's home with a brick before going inside about 3:10 p.m. He was shot several times in the torso and died at the home.
The Mahoning County Coroner's office ruled Spera's death a homicide.
Police say Spera was driven to Neal's home by Brandon S. Hosa, 28, of Eden Rock Road in Canfield. Hosa was arrested after a short chase and is in the Mahoning County Jail on the charges of resisting arrest, obstructing official business, murder and complicity to aggravated burglary, police said.
Police do not yet know how Hosa knows Neal or if he knew what was going to happen, Hawkins said Wednesday. Police also do not know if Spera was there to steal something from the home or if his intent was to attack Neal, he said.
What police do know is that Spera broke in violently. ''After that, it's kind of unclear what happened,'' Hawkins said.
A neighbor had called police saying they saw someone throw a rock through the glass door and go inside the house.
Hawkins said Hosa was waiting in the car when shots were fired and tried to back up but was blocked by a school bus and other cars that had just stopped in front of the drive. Hosa got out of the car and ran but was caught a short distance away, police said.
As Hosa was handcuffed, Neal came outside and was ordered to raise his hands, reports state. Neal told the officer that Spera was inside and that he had shot Spera dead.
''I shot him. He had a knife and wouldn't stop coming at me, so I shot him. He's dead,'' reports state Neal told the officer, who also wrote in a report that he had taken complaints several times about Spera threatening Neal.
Spera was lying in the kitchen with a knife close to his body when police found him, reports state.
Hawkins said all evidence collected will be presented to the prosecutor's office, which will then decide if Neal will face any charges. Presently, he has not been charged with anything.
Neal was taken to the police station, but did not answer questions until his lawyer arrived and he also at first did not give consent to have his home searched but later granted his permission. Hawkins said police took two guns from inside the home along with spent shell casings in the area where Spera was shot.
Court records from Mahoning County Common Pleas Court show Spera has a court record dating back to 1997, where he had an involuntary manslaughter charge from Campbell Municipal Court that was dismissed after a grand jury refused to indict him.
He has had other charges for theft, drug abuse, possession of drugs, domestic violence, forgery and robbery, among others.