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Standoff suspect served 4 years for firing gun into a crowd of 30

A 31-year-old Cincinnati man facing multiple felony charges from a 30-hour standoff at a Liberty Twp. apartment complex last weekend has been involved with the court system before.

Donald T. Gazaway, 31, of the 1600 block of Cedar Avenue, was let into a residence in 700 block of East Hamilton Place late Friday night, according to detectives. He then demanded thousands in cash, pulled a gun and took a 10 year-boy hostage.

MORE: ‘Why are you doing this to me?’: How this weekend’s standoff unfolded in Liberty Twp.

During the standoff that ended peacefully Sunday morning, deputies say Gazaway shot at them in excess of 20 times and used the boy clad in Snoopy pajamas as a human shield.

Gazaway was released from prison in July after serving four years for felonious assault in Hamilton County. He shot a gun into a crowd of 30 people at a party, according to court documents.

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Twice Gazaway filed motions in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court asking for early release with letters from his fiance and a Cincinnati pastor in support.

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In a letter to Judge Dennis Helmick in August 2014, Gazaway wrote, “throughout being incarcerated, I have put (forth) a great amount of effort to make accomplishments to better myself to society. The progress that I have made has changed me drastically and has made me very family-oriented.”

Gazaway said in the letter he wanted to remain a law-abiding citizen for the sake of his fiancee and his daughter.

He had much the same to say in a letter to Judge Leslie Ghiz, dated April 24, 2015.

“(My) plan when I enter into society is to continue what I have started here in bettering myself and continuing to reiterate the positive attributes of living a structured life. I have a family, a home, and a great network of support when I enter back into society,” Gazaway wrote. He also pointed out training and courses he completed in prison.

Both judges denied early judicial release. Gazaway has a history of arrests dating back to 2004, according to court records.

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