Mark Simon has no doubt where he would be if it weren’t for Akron police.
“I’d be dead, that’s for sure,” he said Wednesday.
Simon, 48, a grocery store manager, was struggling with an apparently drug-crazed and angry intruder who broke inside Simon’s home on LaFollette Street late Tuesday and began assaulting the Akron man.
The attack didn’t end until an Akron police officer arrived and opened fire on the suspect, 23-year-old Mark A. Losh.
Losh, who is homeless, underwent surgery early Wednesday at Summa Akron City Hospital for a single bullet wound to the abdomen. The injury was not considered life-threatening, police said.
The officer who shot Losh is a five-year veteran of the force. He was placed on administrative leave, a standard procedure for officers involved in shootings.
The shooting took place about 11:30 p.m. inside Simon’s home in the 700 block of LaFollette Street.
Simon said he had just arrived home from work and was talking on the phone when Losh, armed with a rifle, forced his way inside by smashing a door window with the butt of the weapon. Simon said he had previous run-ins with Losh, who he described as a friend of a friend.
Simon told his friend on the phone to call 911. At the same time, he hit his home’s security alarm. Meanwhile, Losh burst inside, appearing angry and smelling of alcohol, Simon said.
The intruder dropped the rifle and confronted Simon, punching, choking and placing a knife at the homeowner’s neck.
“He had me pinned down, he was hitting me repeatedly in the back of the head and he had a knife against my throat,” Simon recalled. “And then the cops came.”
Police Lt. Rick Edwards said officers had to force their way inside the house. When they did, Losh picked up his rifle and ignored commands to drop the weapon.
Rather, Losh turned and “raised the rifle toward the officers when one officer fired several shots,” Edwards said.
Simon supported the actions of the officer, who he estimates fired nine shots at Losh while the intruder was in the dining room. Simon was standing about 12 feet away.
“[Losh] aimed at them, so the police had every right to do what they did,” Simon said.
One shot hit Losh; Simon suffered minor injuries to his face and neck.
Simon spent much of Wednesday assessing damage to his home: broken glass and a bullet-riddled wall in his dining room.
He believes Losh came to the house in response to Simon contacting police last week after the homeless man tried to force Simon to visit a bank and withdraw cash. After Simon contacted police to report the attempt, Losh ran off, only to revisit Simon’s house Tuesday night seeking revenge.
“He was letting me know he didn’t appreciate what I did last week,” Simon said. “He told me I was going to get hurt because of that. Really, he could have shot me very easily, and luckily he didn’t.”
Simon said he’s sure Losh would have killed him had it not been for police arriving in time. Losh has a long criminal history and, according to Simon, issues with drug and alcohol abuse.
Losh has been charged with aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, felonious assault and assault on a police officer. He was arrested at least six times in 2012, according to online court records, on charges including domestic violence, menacing and theft.
“They did their job. They did what they’re supposed to do,” Simon said of the officers. “I have no regrets over what they did. I’m just glad they were there for me because I would have been dead.”
Beacon Journal staff writer Phil Trexler can be reached at 330-996-3717 or firstname.lastname@example.org.