Posted on July 30, 2015

Lake County Officials Detail Day of Violence Capped by Arrest of Painesville Murder Suspect

Ryllie Danylko, Cleveland, July 29, 2015

A Lake County sheriff’s deputy approached Juan Emmanuel Razo on July 7 because he was somewhere he wasn’t supposed to be. The encounter led sheriff’s officials to contact a federal agency to determine if the 35-year-old man was in the country legally.

Razo was released after “border patrol” told deputies that there was no reason to detain him, Lake County Sheriff Daniel Dunlap said Tuesday at a press conference.

Razo now stands accused of a string of violent crimes that led to his arrest Monday, including the attempted rape of a 14-year-old girl, the shooting of a woman in the arm and the fatal shooting of a woman in her home.

Juan Emmanuel Razo

Juan Emmanuel Razo

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the FBI are working with the sheriff’s office to investigate Razo’s immigration status. Dunlap released few details about Razo, other than that he has been the the U.S. for “a number of years.”

Police have not revealed the nation Razo is from. Dunlap noted that he has no local criminal history.

Razo is accused of killing 60-year-old Margaret Kostelnik Monday in her Ravenna Road home. Earlier that day, he attempted to rape a 14-year-old girl and then shot a woman in a nearby park, Dunlap said.

Razo was taken into custody near the park after a shootout with police.

Rangers at the Lake MetroParks received the first call about Razo about 10:45 a.m. A 14-year-old girl told the rangers that he tried to rape her at Helen Wyman Park in Concord Township.

Officials searched Razo’s home on Lusard Street in Painesville but didn’t find him. They towed his vehicle.

As rangers worked to secure an arrest warrant, sheriff’s deputies were called at 2:45 p.m. to the Lake Metroparks Greenway Corridor for a report of gunfire on a bike path. The location of the shooting was less than a mile from Helen Wyman Park.

Razo fired five shots at a 40-year-old Painesville woman and her two children as they walked along the bike path, police said. One shot struck the woman in the arm, and she was hospitalized with non life-threatening injuries.


Shortly after 4 p.m., a deputy was approached by Kostelnik’s husband. He said he found his wife shot to death inside their home on the 6200 block of Ravenna Road. {snip}


Minutes later, a Concord Township resident called the sheriff’s office to report that a man–later identified as Razo–was standing in his backyard with a rifle.

Three officers arrived and located the man. Razo pointed his gun at the officers and appeared to fire a shot, Dunlap said. The officers returned fire, missing Razo as he hid behind a boulder.

He eventually surrendered.

Razo is charged with attempted murder. He will likely face additional charges through the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office.


Lake County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Frank Leonbruno said deputies approached Razo on Casement Avenue July 7 because Razo was “in an area he had no permission to be on.” He reiterated that deputies called the “border patrol,” who said there was no reason to hold him.