MIAMI TOWNSHIP — Robert Reed Sanders and Cheryl Sanders are dead after a Feb. 12 shooting on the 3400 block of Grinnell Road.
According to a press conference held Feb. 13 by the Greene County Sheriff’s Office, the crime appears to have been an ambush setup in which a couple, occupants of the home on the 3400 block of Grinnell Road, had pulled up to their driveway when they were confronted by Robert Reed Sanders in a car with counterfeit temporary tags who displayed a gun. Witnesses told law enforcement officials that they heard shouting followed by gunshots. A student at the Greene County Career Center had also driven by and observed the events.
Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer said during the press conference that it is unclear who fired shots first, and the gunshot wounds of the deceased, as well as the shell casings, are still being investigated.
Fischer explained that after the male home occupant exited the vehicle to defend himself that Cheryl Sanders, believed to be his ex-wife, got out of the suspect vehicle, shared some comments, and approached the female home occupant who is believed to be the current wife of the male home occupant. Fischer said Robert Sanders had threatened to kill the female home occupant, prompting the male home occupant to defend himself. The male home occupant is a carrying concealed weapon (CCW) permit holder and also had a gun.
The Sanders were killed, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. The exact number of gunshot wounds has not yet been released. The male suspect had multiple forms of identification on his person; Fischer believes he had planned to flea the area after the crime occurred. The home occupants are still alive.
Fischer said the suspects came from out of state and is unclear how long they were in the area before the event took place. A camera system was set-up on a stump across the street and a live-feed was being broadcasted to a cell phone inside the vehicle belonging to the suspects. Fischer said it is believed that the female suspect was watching the events occur from the vehicle on the cellphone. Sheriff’s Office officials discovered the cameras after observing themselves being broadcasted onto the cellphone that was still inside the suspect vehicle, which is currently being inventoried. The homeowners also had at least one security camera, but Fischer said it was not turned on at the time of the event.
The event is still being investigated. Suzanne Schmidt of the Greene County Prosecutors Office anticipates a lengthy investigation before evidence is presented to the Greene County Grand Jury. She explained during the press conference that a CCW is a license that can be obtained with proper education to carry a gun. In Ohio, CCW permit holders are able to use the guns to defend themselves in their own homes and vehicles.
Cheryl Sanders and living male home occupant had two college aged daughters. Cheryl Sanders also worked as a stunt woman in movies, according to a website. The Greene County Sheriff’s Office is currently working alongside the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) and the Greene County Coroner’s Office to determine how the event took place.
The motive at this point is unclear. The home where the shooting took place, on the 3400 block of Grinnell Road, is currently listed for sale at a price of $3.98 million. Grinnell Road was closed for several hours after the crime occurred.
“There’s still [a lot of information] that we’re missing,” Fischer said. “[This investigation] will be thorough. We don’t see a lot of this in Greene County or the Miami Valley. It will take several weeks to reach a conclusion.”
Contact Whitney Vickers at 937-502-4532. Anna Bolton, Greene County News reporter, contributed to this story.