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Molest suspect shoots himself

Commits suicide as police close in
10-18-2007 Indiana

A man accused of molesting a 10-year-old girl over nearly four years shot himself in the head late Tuesday or early Wednesday as police tried to arrest him, police said.

Najae Bland, 27, was pronounced dead at 4:30 a.m. Wednesday after being taken to Parkview Hospital in critical condition.

He was found suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head about 1:30 a.m. by Allen County Sheriff’s Department officers trying to serve him a warrant at a house in the 2800 block of Chestnut Street.

His death was ruled a suicide, Allen County Coroner E. Jon Brandenberger said.

The sheriff’s department arrived at the home about 9:45 p.m. Tuesday to arrest Bland, but no one came to the door, spokesman Steve Stone said.

Officers could hear people inside the house and had information that Bland might have guns, so the Allen County SWAT team was called, Stone said.

SWAT team members entered the home about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday and found Bland with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Police believe Bland shot himself while they were preparing to go inside the home.

The warrant, which charged Bland with six counts of child molesting, was filed by the Allen County Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday.

According to court documents, Bland’s wife found him with a 10-year-old girl on Oct. 4.

The woman had the girl leave the room and ordered Bland out of the house. He tried to talk to his wife, saying “I’m sorry” several times, court documents said. His wife then went outside, gave a friend her cell phone and had the friend call police, the documents said.

Bland left the house before officers arrived, court documents said.

When the girl was interviewed, she told police Bland made her perform sex acts on him and had sex with her on several occasions between January 2003 and October 2007, court documents said.

Bland was sentenced in November 2004 to three years’ probation with six months’ home detention for making false statements on federal forms to acquire a firearm.

According to records, he bought two guns from a sporting goods store in Angola in July 2003 indicating the guns were for him, although he was buying them for another person. He also admitted buying six guns in July 2002.

The case that ended in his death remains under investigation by the sheriff’s department, the prosecutor’s office, the coroner’s office and the Indiana State Police. ..more.. by Megan Hubartt, The Journal Gazette

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